Estimated reading time: 5 mins
You may have the qualifications, the passion and the drive but if your interview skills are lacking, none of that will matter. An interview is a chance to demonstrate why you’re the best person for the job. You may have applied for your dream job more than once, jumping every hurdle with flying colours, until you get to the interview stage. If your interviews are letting you down, it’s time to do something about it. Here are some tips for standing out amongst the crowd in an interview.
Your Interview Starts as Soon as You Walk In
Many people believe that an interview only starts as soon as they’re in front of the interviewers. Your interview actually starts as soon as you walk into the building. If you run into reception with minutes to spare and spend the rest of the time you have left fixing your make-up or fidgeting with nerves, the receptionist will relay that information to the interviewers. Get to your destination in plenty of time and sit with good posture. Wait calmly and go over some of the points you’d like to get across in the interview.
It’s natural to be nervous before and during an interview. However, if you can let your excitement and passion for the job take over, it will be much easier to get through the interview calmly. You can find exciting jobs at portfolio procurement. Employers don’t just want qualifications. There will be another ten people after you that have the exact same qualifications as you. They want you to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job and how you can use that enthusiasm to bring something fresh to the role.
The last thing a potential employer wants to see is you fumbling around to find your phone when it interrupts your interview. If they ask to see documents, you’ll need to have them to hand quickly to look like you’ve prepared in the best way. If you’re unable to find what you need or you’ve left a document at home in the rush to get out, you risk looking unprofessional. Spend an hour or two the night before an interview packing a bag or briefcase with the things you need. The more organised you are, the better you’ll come across.
Be Aware of Your Habits
Do you bite your nails when you’re nervous? Do you have a habit of bouncing your leg when you’re uncomfortable? These are all tell tail signs for interviewers, and you may give yourself away before you’ve even entered the interview room. If you’re likely to get nervous, take something with you that will stop you from indulging in nervous habits. Have a bottle of water at your side so you can drink every time you feel the need to bite your nails. It’s just a way of reminding yourself to act confident, even if you don’t feel it.
Prepare Your Answers
Don’t you just hate the questions, ‘why should we hire you?’ or ‘can you tell me a few things about yourself?’. No-one enjoys being put on the spot and answering questions about yourself can feel overwhelming. You need to spend a few hours preparing your answers before you get to the interview. Take a look at the job description and match your personality traits and experience to what they’re looking for. It’s also a good idea to find out as much as possible about the company you’re interviewing for. For example, if the company’s staff does a charity bike ride every year, they may be interested to know that cycling is one of your hobbies.
Selling yourself is part and parcel of the interview process. If you’re not a competitive person, this may be a difficult thing for you to do, but it is necessary. The interviewers need to know why they should hire you. What have you got to offer? You’ll need to talk about your qualifications, your experience and why you think you’re right for the job. Make a point of telling them why you applied and discuss what your goals are for the future. You may also be given a scenario where you need to draw on your past experience to help you solve the problem. The more knowledge you have stored in your mind, the better.
Have you ever been stumped when the interview comes to an end and the interviewer asks if you have any questions? It’s a great way for interviewers to determine how interested you are in the job. Do you research before the interview and get to know what the job role involves. You’ll be in a much better position to ask questions if you know as much as possible about what you’ll be doing.
Make Them Remember You
The chances are that many of the candidates are just as qualified and prepared as you. If you’re one of the first people to be seen, you’ll need to make sure they remember you. This means that you’ll have to end the interview on a strong note. Many people are so relieved that the interview is over they breathe a huge sigh and run out of the door as quickly as possible. Maintain your composure for that little bit longer and ask about the next step. When will you hear something? Will you be able to get feedback on the interview?
It’s Okay to Take Notes
An interview isn’t an exam. In fact, it should be thought of as more of a discussion. You don’t have to memorise everything. If you know you’re likely to forget points you want to make, write them down and take them with you. Use your notebook to make notes during the interview, as the interviewers are giving you information. It’s a great opportunity to remind yourself of important points before they start asking questions.
The most important thing to do during an interview is not let your nerves get the better of you. If you’ve worked hard and you’re passionate about the job, it will shine through.