Before you go for your interview do as much research as you can; you should always find out everything you can about the company and if possible who’s interviewing you, and also go through your resume, so that you can think about your skills and qualifications and how they are suited to the position you are interviewing for.
The most important thing you can do in an interview is to convince the interviewer that you have the right skills and requirements for the job. It may sound obvious but make sure you dress smartly and appropriately and leave plenty of time to get there so that you are not late; arriving 10 – 15 minutes early for an interview is highly recommended. It’s amazing what first impressions can do!
Always remember that the interview is not only a chance for the interviewer to assess if you are the right person for the job, but it is also an opportunity for you to see if the job and the company are the right fit for you. During the interview you should make sure that as well as answering all of their questions you also ask your own, when appropriate of course. I would suggest asking questions that show you’re interested in the position and want to learn more about it, such as ‘What are the main tasks and responsibilities of this position?’. Also never sell yourself short, make sure you are getting across you strengths and attributes and why you are right for this role.
I know that my least favorite question during an interview is, ‘What are your weaknesses?’, not because I don’t have any, as everybody does, but rather that I don’t want to draw attention to them. What you need to try and remember is that every negative can be turned into a positive, have a look at the example below:
How do you handle tension/stress? Explain how you avoid stressful situations, and if not how you deal with it, for example: exercising and going to the gym.
How do you take direction? Show by giving examples of how you can be briefed and finish the task without unnecessary disagreements/complications
Do you prefer working with others or alone? Explain how you can work well in both situations.
On the flip side, it always amazes me how many people answer the weaknesses question with ‘I don’t have any’… really? Everyone has weaknesses, whether we like to admit it or not and I can assure you that the interviewer is not looking to hear that you don’t have any.
Finally I cannot stress enough how important confidence and honesty are, no matter what situation you come in to honesty is always the best policy! If you are asked a question and you don’t know the answer, admit that rather than making something up that will more than likely be completely wrong, trust me the interviewer will be more impressed by you this way!
To give you an example, at my very first interview I was asked about an article in the Financial Times… well needless to say I did not have a clue what he was talking about, I had never picked up a copy of the FT in all my life (up until that point obviously)… and so of course this made me panic but in the end I knew this was not something I could ‘blag’ my way through and so I simply admitted that I had did not read the FT, but assured my interviewer that this was something I planned on doing to get myself up to speed before starting with them! Lo and behold it worked, when I was given my interview feedback and offer with the company, I was told that the interviewer really appreciated my honesty and knew I would be a good fit for the team.
This is obviously only a few key tips on interviewing but if you would like any more advice or information please contact me!