Never fear! For most of us, interview success does not come naturally (at least not without a fair bit of practice). Lucky for you, these skills can be learnt, and it's completely within your power to rock this stage of the process. To ensure you put your best foot forward, we've compiled some of our top interview tips:
Match your skills to the job specification – Interviews often start with an open question such as: Tell me about yourself. Many candidates fall into the trap of describing their life story or rambling. Start with the present and explain why you are well qualified for the position.
Do your homework - Spend time researching the company. Its website, press releases and news give you a good insight into the company’s goals and objectives which you can use to ask questions and tie into your answers.
Research your industry - Demonstrating you know what’s going on in a particular industry is great for interviews - ask questions about industry trends, how the company plans to respond and link your experiences to them.
Practice your interview technique - Make sure your interview technique is well honed by asking friends to do mock interviews with you to identify areas to work on.
Prepare examples - Employers always want concrete examples to demonstrate your skills and experiences. Have at least two examples prepared for each skill area specified in the job advert/spec and make sure your answers focus on the actions you took and the results you achieved.
Decide what you’re wearing - It sounds so simple but you don’t want to waste vital preparation time choosing your outfit or going to the dry cleaners, so plan your outfit in advance.
Plan your route - Nothing looks worse than an interviewee who arrives late or gets lost. Plan your route in advance and leave plenty of buffer time in case of delays. Try to arrive at least 15 minutes early.
Imagine you’re selling a product - We often find it hard to sell ourselves, so imagine you’re selling a product or service and then apply the same rules to yourself during the interview.
If in doubt, ask for clarification – If you’re unsure what the interviewer really wants to know, don’t be afraid to ask them to clarify their question. Not only does this stop you from wasting their time but it demonstrates your confidence.
And finally, remember to value yourself - It’s easy to get nervous before interviews but remember they want the right candidate as much as you want the right job so try to keep calm and be as natural as possible.