Congratulations! You have been offered a job interview. Are you prepared? Maybe you are wondering what you need to do to succeed in your job interview? It would be a mistake to leave it to chance. After all, you have put in a lot of effort to get to this point.
Attending a job interview is always daunting, no matter how much experience and expertise you possess. Being prepared and practicing will alleviate some of the stress and allow you to be more comfortable during the interview.
What do employers look for?
Employment decisions are rarely made based simply on qualifications or skills. In reality, technical skills usually make up only about 15% of the hiring decision. That means 85% of the decision is based on something other than your ability to walk in the door on the first day and do the job. The main requirements for being selected for employment is that the employer:
Keep reading to find out about the 3Ps approach to succeeding in your job interview.
Many candidates fail to do enough preparation, and it really shows during the interview. So, what kind of preparation do you need to do?
Here are my five tips for preparing for your job interview:
- Research the company. What do you know about the company? Do your research. Check out the company’s website. Do they participate in social media? Learn what you can about the person or people who will be interviewing you. LinkedIn can be an excellent place to start.
- Identify who will be interviewing you and what their job title is. Find the company website, Google their name or find them on LinkedIn.
- Go over the role description and job advert in detail. Make sure you get to know all the key requirements and role responsibilities.
- Prepare answers to common interview questions.
- Demonstrate what you know. Demonstrate what you know about the company by preparing examples that match your experience to the competencies and skills required for the role. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Actions, Results).
- Get everything ready the night before – clothes, portfolio, how to get there, etc. Make sure your interview clothes are neat, tidy and appropriate for the interviewing company. Collate copies of your resume, qualifications and work samples into a portfolio, if relevant. Have a pen and notepad for note-taking.
Your presentation – the way you look and your boday language – will make a significant impact on your job interview. Your first impression will be a lasting one. In the first 10 seconds, the interviewer is already building a picture based on the image you project.
Dress for Success: When you meet someone new, they will form an opinion about you based on how you look within the first three minutes. This first impression you make can be the difference between doing well or not at your interview. Therefore, it pays to understand the corporate culture of your target company beforehand.
Your Attitude: Attitude is so important to success throughout your career. Most employers prefer to have staff that are e personable, friendly, energetic and project positive vibes. They will generally like to hire job seekers with the right attitude rather than those with plenty of aptitude but short on attitude.
Stay Calm: Try to relax and stay as calm as possible. Breathe and take a moment to regroup your thoughts. Give clear and concise responses and be aware of your boday language as it plays a significant role in communication. Pay attention and listen to the entire question before you answer. You will be embarrassed if you forget the question!
Body Language in Your Answers: Only about 10% of the message you send is verbal. This goes way beyond simply the clothes you are wearing, and it has a lot to do with body language. Many people frequently say one thing with their mouth, but their body language is saying something else. Maintain appropriate eye contact to engage your interviewer by making appropriate eye contact and listening carefully to the questions being asked.
Negativity: It is never appropriate to speak negatively about your current or past employer or work associates, even if it’s true. Employers don’t care if your boss was unfair or if the company did cheat you. It doesn’t make you look more virtuous by telling them how bad everything else is.
You need to have that extra zip in your voice – job seekers are often surprised to find out that they came across as sounding beaten or negative. Don’t take your chances, smile, avoid negativity and rehearse your response to a wide range of possible questions.
Many job seekers think they are no good at interviews. If you haven’t had many interviews or it’s been a long time since your last interview, don’t expect to be perfect.
Increase you own awareness of how the interviewer will see you by practicing. For example, practice shaking hands confidently, social conversation, maintaining eye contact when responding and smiling.
Practice common interview questions
Practice answering typical job interview questions. Be prepared to provide evidence of your successes. Consider the questions you would like to ask the interviewer. Get a friend to help or rehearse your answers in front of a mirror to see how you come across. Video your answers to pick up on mannerisms you’re unaware of, like fiddling with your tie or jewellery!
You need to remember that you only improve at interviews with practice. After every interview, good or bad, think it through and work out what went well and where you got stuck. This way, you will learn from the experience and perform better the next time.
Remember the 3Ps for interview success the next time you have an upcoming job interview. Apply this formula, and you will be well on your way to interview success.
In closing.. my final tip is to follow Up: Always follow up with a thank you note reiterating your interest in the position. If you interview with multiple people, send each one a personal thank you note. Send your thank you note (by email is preferred) within 24 hours of your interview.
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