Interview Tips – Five ways to improve your interview performance

You’ve perfected your CV, applied for the role you wanted, and have now been offered a job interview. Congratulations! Now for the next step, preparing. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Preparing for your interview is vital as you won’t get a second chance to make a great first impression. So, we’ve put together five interview tips that will help you navigate through your interview confidently, hopefully landing you your next dream job!

 

Research

Having a successful interview will more often than not depend on how well you prepare for it. Taking the time to research your potential employer and the role you’ve applied for is essential. When you go into your interview you want to show the interviewer that you’re knowledgeable about more than just the basics; illustrate that you understand who they are and what they do, as well and getting to know the company values and ethos.

It’s important to demonstrate that you fully understand the job role too. Read over the job description and think about which skills and qualifications you have that are relevant to the role, and why you’d be the most suitable candidate.

 

Practice

Think about the questions that you could be asked at your interview and how you plan to answer them. Being able to communicate swiftly about who you are, why you want the role, and what you could bring to the company is vital for displaying how confident and informed you are.

You’re likely to be asked about how you’ve demonstrated certain skills in previous positions, so it’s a good idea to look over your CV and think about how you can demonstrate the skills and experience you’ve gained throughout your career or education. A good method to use when answering this type of question is the STAR method.

Situation – the situation you had to deal with

Task – the task that you had to complete

Action – what action you took

Result – what was the result of your action and what did you learn from this experience

Once you’ve decided what you want to say, try practising your answers aloud – yes, really! Practising what you plan to say out loud is an effective way to prepare for your interview, so give it a try and maybe ask a friend or family member to listen and give you feedback on your answers. It does help!

 

Dress to impress

Deciding what to wear to an interview has become trickier in recent years, with a growing number of employers encouraging a more casual dress code at work. What you’ll be expected to wear will depend on the company you’re interviewing with, the industry that they operate in, and the culture they promote. If you’re unsure about what to wear you can always ask a recruiter about the ‘dress code’ ahead of your interview, but it’s always better to be dressed too smart than too casually. Whatever you wear, make sure you look well-kept.

 

Prepared and punctual

It’s a good idea to plan your route to the interview location beforehand. Arriving late could make you feel flustered and could give the interviewer a negative impression of you from the off. Not a good start! Ideally, you want to arrive 10-15 minutes early. If you’re going via public transport, make sure you know what time you need to leave and decide on a backup plan in case of any delays.

It’s a good idea to prep your bag the night before, we’d recommend taking:

  • A pen and notebook
  • Your CV
  • Academic certificates
  • A portfolio (if required)
  • Photo ID
  • Money or a bank card (for travel or parking)

 

Communication

Firstly, it’s important to treat everyone you encounter with respect, from the receptionist to the hiring manager. How you treat people can be a vital part of the interviewing process and your potential employer could ask other members of staff for their feedback on the interactions you had with them.

When we think about communication, we think about speaking, however, non-verbal communication is equally as important. Your body language can tell your interviewer a lot about you before you even say a word.

Use confident, positive body language when you’re interacting with people. Smile and make eye contact when you speak to people while standing tall with your shoulders back.

When the hiring manager greets you, they’ll likely extend their hand to you to initiate a handshake. Make sure you address them with a smile, eye contact, and give them a firm handshake – without crushing their hand!

Once you’re seated be sure you conserve a good posture, don’t slouch back, or lean on a desk. Throughout the interview maintain eye contact, smile frequently, and gesture to express agreement or understanding without interrupting the interviewer.

During the interview let the interviewer lead the conversation. Answer any questions clearly and concisely, and make sure you’re responding to the question and not rambling about something irrelevant – remember you only have a limited time with them. Don’t forget, it’s okay to pause before answering a difficult question or to ask the interviewer for clarification if there is something you don’t understand.

One thing you should avoid during an interview is speaking negatively about your current or former employers and colleagues. It’s unprofessional and will likely lead to them viewing you in a negative light. Employers want employees who can solve problems and handle difficult situations, so focus on what you’ve gained from your previous work experiences.

At the end of the interview, you can ask when you’ll receive the outcome and then thank the interviewer for their time.

If you’ve got an upcoming interview, we hope this guidance comes in handy! Best of luck from everyone at Bluestones Staffing… you’ve got this!

 

 

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