No matter how many interviews you’ve experienced, they can always feel scary. Whether it’s your first interview or your fifth, here are 10 tips to help you ace it:
1. Do your research
Get clued up on the company and the role to develop a strong understanding of what’s required. Look at the company’s website, use search engines like Google and platforms like Linkedin.
To test your knowledge, interviewers might ask you what you know about the company and why you want to work there, so make sure you’ve done your homework!
2. Plan your day
This may be obvious but always plan well in advance. Think about:
- Getting plenty of rest the night before
- Having a nutritious breakfast to give you plenty of energy
- How you’re getting there, check the route, transport timetables, fuel up your car
Get everything ready the night before to avoid any delays on the day.
3. Be punctual
Get there 10-15 before the interview. Whatever you do, don’t be late! The interviewers will not be impressed. If you can’t turn up to an interview on time, can you really expect them to trust you with meeting tight project deadlines?
4. Make a good first impression
As humans, we make assumptions about people within the first few moments of meeting them, so it’s vital to make a great impression from the start. To do this:
- Dress to impress: wear a smart, professional outfit
- Have a firm handshake: It shows you’re confident.
- Focus on your body language: sit up straight, smile, make eye contact
- Show good manners: say please and thank you
5. Think positively
When giving your answer, try to see the best in everything, it’ll show you have a positive attitude. For example, if you’re asked what your biggest weakness is, explain it but also outline what you’ve done to change this and how you’re improving.
Even if you’re explaining a negative situation or outcome, explain how you positively contributed, what you learned and how you moved forward.
6. Ask questions
Asking well researched questions about the role and company will show you’re interested, intelligent and engaging. The answers will also help you work out if the job is right for you.
Save your questions until the end of the interview and ask them if they weren’t answered naturally during the interview.
Examples of good questions are:
- How long is the training and what does it entail?
- Is the department facing any challenges? If so, how are they being resolved?
- I read your sustainability targets online, how will they be measured day to day?
7. Practice makes perfect
Rehearse your answers over and over until you’ve nailed them. A useful way to practice is to say your answers aloud. You can also say them to a friend and ask for feedback. Not only will you polish your answers, you’ll build confidence too.
Remember...Speak, listen, remember, repeat!
8. Sell yourself
Remember, the interview is all about you! You’re there to prove why you’re right for the job, so tell them! Don't be shy about sharing what you’ve achieved, it helps you stand out!
Don’t tell your entire life story, only share what’s relevant. Get straight to the point and leave the waffle at home!
The STAR framework is designed to help you deliver concise answers, especially if the questions are competency-based. It teaches you to split your story into 4 sections (Situation, Task, Action and Result). Use it!
9. Bring the right things
Make sure you have everything you need for the interview. Remember important essentials like:
- Copies of your CV
- A laptop or USB (if you’re presenting)
- The job description
- ID e.g. passport or driving license
- A bottle of water (just in case)
Depending on the role, you can bring other documents to boost your image, for example:
- A portfolio of your previous work
- Press pieces
- Awards and certificates
Bringing the above will show employers you’re a capable candidate. They also serve as evidence to back up your claims.
Whatever happens, don’t stress yourself out. Think positively and do your best, the rest is out of your control. Whatever will be, will be!
If the nerves take over, calm yourself down by taking some deep breaths. Breathe in good thoughts, breathe out the bad. Don’t worry, you've got this!