How To Succeed In Job Interviews - 6 Expert Tips
It’s normal to feel anxious about an upcoming job interview - but with the right preparation, you can enter an interview situation feeling confident and comfortable.
While you can’t anticipate every question or conversation that will take place during an interview, you can give yourself the best chance of making a positive impression.
Thorough interview prep can take you a long way, and the more prepared you are for a meeting or call, the more effectively you’ll be able to sell yourself. In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at 6 expert tips that will help you to thrive during the interview process.
1. Prepare, prepare, prepare
Although the job interview itself is extremely important, a lot of the hard work should actually take place in the build-up to the meeting.
Preparation is key for success.
The more you know about the business, position, and interviewers, the easier it will be to make a compelling case for yourself as a candidate. Start by taking a look at the company website - what type of culture are they trying to build? Do they have any project case studies you can reference? How can you offer value to the business and its clients?
Use this information to understand what type of candidate the business is looking for and refine your interview answers.
2. Pay attention to the job description
A job description will contain plenty of clues and talking points that can help you to exceed expectations when it comes to interview day.
For instance, a job description will usually tell you a lot about what a company is expecting from a candidate in terms of:
- Prior work experience
- Personality traits/attitudes
- Career ambitions
If you’ve done your homework on the job description, you can build on these specific points and utilise the right language during your interview. The most common reason for failed interviews is a lack of understanding shown about the role, so if you’re clearly clued in on the requirements for the job, it will reflect well on your application.
3. Be ready for tests or assessments
A job interview may involve a skill assessment such as a practical exercise or a maths test, particularly if you’re applying for a more senior position. You might also need to complete a general cognitive ability or psychometric test, depending on the employer.
Although you won’t know exactly what an assessment will look like, if you stay ready for a potential test, you won’t be caught off-guard.
By brushing up on your core technical knowledge and presentation skills, you can keep calm and confident if a test springs up. Plus, you can always ask a hiring manager in advance if an interview will involve a practical exercise to maximise your prep time!
4. Think about your own questions
A job interview isn’t just about impressing your interviewer - it’s also a fantastic opportunity for you to learn more about a business and decide if it ticks the right boxes for your career.
Plan out a few insightful questions in the lead-up to your interview. You might ask about specific clients the company works with, internal systems and processes, or the office culture. Not only will this help you to understand more about a potential employer, but you’ll also come across as genuinely engaged and actively interested in the role.
Need some guidance for your own interview questions? Take a look at our expert guide on the best questions to ask during interviews for inspiration.
5. Deliver concise and confident answers
Interviewers will often be speaking to many different candidates, so you’ll need to find a way to make a strong impression on hiring managers.
A good way to stand out from rival applicants is to deliver short, confident answers that highlight your key skills, qualifications, and career aspirations.
If you’re giving long, rambling responses to interview questions, it can be difficult for employers to remember your main strengths as a candidate. Focus on the specific questions being asked during the interview, and provide responses that are relevant and snappy.
6. Arrive on time
This may sound obvious, but punctuality can make a massive impact on the success of your interview. In fact, 84% of interviewers view lateness (without explanation) as the worst offence possible during an interview process.
If you’re travelling for an interview, plan out your journey (and build in a buffer for delays) to ensure that you arrive on time. If it’s a phone call or video meeting, make sure that you’re ready in a quiet environment and familiar with any software being used.
Interviewing can be a nerve-wracking process, but with the right preparation and mindset, you can significantly increase your likelihood of success.
If you’d like more advice on interview preparation or techniques, just get in touch with our recruitment experts - we specialise in helping ambitious candidates to approach interviews with confidence and land their dream roles.