Congratulations, your immaculately-formatted, grammatically-perfect CV has got you a meeting. Now all that remains is to impress in person. Here’s our handy guide to your job interview.
1. Google is Your Friend
There’s no excuse for not knowing some basic facts about the company you are attempting to join – when were they founded, where they operate, and even their financial performance can usually be found with a quick search online. Knowledge is power, so put in some effort and demonstrate your resourcefulness and interest.
2. Know Thyself
Write a list of your accomplishments – not only from your last job, but your life! You will have achieved more than you think. Provide these real-life examples in a workplace context to add credibility and authority to your interviewer. Equally, empower yourself by recognising your weaknesses and shortcomings. Interviewers can be impressed by a frank admission of opportunities for self-improvement, turning a weakness to a strength – but beware, don’t talk yourself out of a job!
3. Look in the Mirror
You only get one chance to make a first impression. Unfortunately, this cliché is correct. Being well-dressed and tidily-groomed is the easiest way to impress. Never dress down for a job interview – even the trendiest, laissez-faire, Converse-rocking start-ups can be wowed by the right suit. Interviewers will often ask the opinion of others you meet in the building, so look people in the eye, shake their hand and smile!
4. Timing is Everything
If there is even the slightest chance of being late, for goodness’ sake make your recruiter aware. The interviewer may perceive you to be setting a precedent of future behaviours if you show up late without warning! Let your recruiter reassure them.
5. The Conversation
The best interviews unfold like a natural conversation – not an interrogation. Don’t be afraid to ask your own probing questions early in the meeting. Listen closely to their answers, and try not to interrupt. Monitor the length of your own responses to avoid waffling.
6. A Search for Negatives
Your strengths, highlighted within your CV, have won you a meeting – the interview will typically determine which candidate gets the job. Keep your opinions reasonably vanilla – you’ll need to demonstrate some personality and character, but try to avoid being overly-critical of your current or previous employer. Retain your professional composure, and avoid using slang words or phrases.
7. Show Me The Money
Interviewers use salary requirements as a way to eliminate candidates from consideration. Your recruiter should have pre-empted this with the hiring company, but if pressed, you can give them a ‘ballpark’ figure or range. If the interviewer is aggressively pursuing a full answer, then oblige – it’s better not to be obstinate. Salary negotiation is something your recruiter can handle when the hiring company makes you an offer.
8. Tell Them You Want It
In case this wasn’t patently obvious, make it clear to the interviewer that you genuinely want the job. Enquire politely about the interview process and the potential future stages to demonstrate your level of interest. If you get a promising response, stay professional and make your escape!