Secrets to Interview Success
Interviews aren’t easy to cope with. And if you’re fighting for your dream job, the pressure will be immense. Keep in mind the following advice from recruitment experts and interviewers to give yourself the best possible chance of success.
Serious candidates prepare, You have heard the saying "fail to prepare, prepare to fail", this is very true in the recruitment process. So make sure that you are fully prepared, below are some top tips to help you succeed:
- Practice common interview questions
- Research the company and your interviewers
- Be aware of topical issues affecting your industry
The first five minutes count it takes most recruiters just ten minutes to make their mind up about a candidate. And a quarter of interviewers make a judgement after just five minutes.
So how do you go about making a good impression in those crucial first few moments?
- Don't arrive late
- Use positive body language
- Don't be rude or personal about current or previous employers
- Don’t be too familiar, it’s important to set a professional tone
- Switch off your mobile before you step into the room
Curiosity is crucial
"Ask an intelligent question towards the beginning of your interview to demonstrate that you've done your homework," And when you get to the end, ask a few more. Just spending half an hour on a company's website can give you a definite advantage. Look for recent press releases, product launches, career biographies and awards which could spark talking points. An interviewer will assume you’re not genuinely interested in their company if you ask nothing about it.
You're only human – and so is your interviewer
Good employers understand the pitfalls of interviewing and they know you’re only human. Try not to panic if you get lost for words or a question throws you. You may leave the room berating yourself for your mistakes but the interviewer will make allowances and chances are you weren’t as bad as you think.
It’s all in your technique
You can vastly improve your performance with a little care over your technique:
- When answering interview questions, relate parts of the job description to relevant experience on your CV.
- Make the most of your research and quote it where appropriate.
- If you face a panel interview, make sure you talk to everyone rather than directing your answers at one person.
- Never mention salary unless prompted to do so
- Always let the interviewer finish speaking before giving your response.
Let your body do the talking
Did you know that only 7% of our face to face communications rely on the words we use? So when it comes to performing well in interviews, what you say becomes less important than the way in which you say it. Now we don't mean that, so long as your smile is wide and your posture upright, you can recite a nursery rhyme instead of naming your weaknesses. But if you can master positive body language, it’ll help distract your interviewer from the odd fudged answer.
Body language to avoid
- Don’t wait in reception with your legs stretched out, feet crossed and hands clasped behind your head, this can signal a casual attitude bordering on indifference.
- Are you sitting comfortably? Lounging with arms and legs dangling will suggest you’re a little too relaxed about an interview you should be taking seriously.
- Try not to show how tense you are. Clutching a handbag or briefcase suggests a nervous candidate, not a confident, cool-headed character.
- You’ve heard this one before, but it bears repeating: crossing your arms can be interpreted as defensive or, worse still, hostile.
- An iron grip can imply arrogance but a limp handshake might suggest weak character.
- Beware of moving your feet up and down repeatedly in a nervous manner - it’s actually a clear sign of boredom.
- Resist the urge to touch your face or play with your hair when you speak, this suggests deceit or the withholding of information.Body language to try
- Show them you know what you’re talking about – touch your fingertips together to convey authority.
- Your physical gestures should be open and expressive. You want to try to involve the interviewer in what you are saying. Keep palms up and open to suggest honesty, and avoid pointing or banging fists on the table to emphasise a point.
- Demonstrate curiosity and enthusiasm while your interviewer is speaking. Making direct eye contact and leaning slightly forward are two of the best cues.
- Imitate your interviewer’s positive body language to quickly build a rapport. Make sure you’re subtle though, or you’re more likely to cause alarm!