If you’ve applied for a job and been invited for an interview it means you tick all the right boxes in terms of qualifications, skills and abilities. But the chances are that there are other applicants who tick the same boxes.
How well each of you perform during the interview process will decide who gets the job offer.
The ninth in our Job Search Series covers the top 5 interview techniques that will help you stand out and increase your chances of getting the job.
1. Make a Good Impression
It’s essential that you make a good impression at your interview if you want to land the job.
- Dress professionally.
- Arrive on time.
- Take a deep breath. Interviews can be nerve-wracking, just remember that you’re there because you were chosen to interview.
- Know the interviewer’s full name, the correct pronunciation and his or her title.
- Demonstrate confidence: Sit and stand straight, make eye contact and connect with a smile and a firm handshake (COVID friendly). A simple wave or nod of the head are good substitutes for virtual interviews.
- Be positive: Volunteer positive information only, remember to keep smiling and be friendly, be alert and quick to respond to the interviewer.
- Show your enthusiasm: Let the interviewer know that you are excited about this opportunity.
It’s important to listen carefully to everything that is said or asked during an interview. Good communication skills include listening and letting the person know you heard what was said.
Here’s how to show you are a good listener:
- When the interviewer is speaking to you, lean in towards them slightly. This shows that you’re interested in what they have to say.
- Communicate that you’re paying attention by maintaining comfortable eye contact and nodding when appropriate.
- After the interviewer has communicated important information, summarise what they have said in your own words. This demonstrates your understanding to them.
3. Answer Questions Carefully
You know you can do the job; make sure the interviewer believes you can, too. One way to do this is by preparing well-thought-out answers to the questions they’re most likely to ask. For our tips on answering the most common questions interviewers ask, CLICK HERE.
During your interview:
- Ensure you listen carefully to the entire question and pause to think before answering. If you do not understand the question it’s okay to ask the interviewer to clarify it.
- Make sure your answer is relevant to the role and directly answering the question.
- Answer questions with more than a simple “yes” or “no.” Ensure your answers are backed up by sufficient reasoning.
- When interviewers ask for an example of a time when you did something, they are asking questions which are designed to elicit a sample of your past behaviour. If you fail to relate a specific example, you not only don’t answer the question, but you also miss an opportunity to prove your ability and talk about your skills. You can avoid this by using the STAR method to talk about what you did:
Situation – Give your story context.
Task – Describe the task you were doing.
Activity – Detail how you went about completing your task.
Result – How was the situation resolved.
4. Sell Yourself
Selling yourself in an interview means taking steps to convince the prospective employer that you would be a valuable asset to the business. Don’t rely on your application or resume to do the selling for you. The Interviewer will want you to speak for yourself.
- Know what benefits and skills you can bring to the business.
- The interview is a two-way meeting; find an opportunity to mention key points about you and be positive about your achievements and what you feel you would contribute to the business.
- Show enthusiasm: If you are interested in the position, let the interviewer know. You can sell yourself by saying something like: “I’m very impressed with what I’ve seen here today; your business, its products and the people I’ve met. I am confident I could do an excellent job in the position you’ve described to me.”
5. Ask Questions
Asking the interviewer questions makes you look more interested in the role. Generally, an interviewer will leave space at the end for questions but its ok to ask some as you go. The best questions come from listening to what you’re asked during the interview and asking for additional information.
Here’s our tips:
- Ask questions about the role, the business, the culture, the career potential, and the business’ plans for the future.
- Don’t be afraid to ask what happens next and when it is likely to happen. This shows you are interested and motivated. You may also get some important information about the next stage of the recruitment process.
Bonus Tip: Thank the Interviewer
A simple thank you can make a big difference. Thank the interviewer for his or her time and consideration on your way out. It’s a good idea to also send an email or text later the same day, or early the next day, thanking them again and reiterating your interest in the job.
Still need help?
We are only a phone call or email away. Our staff are more than happy to support you in polishing your interview techniques to help you present yourself as the best person for the job.