Interviews can be intimidating, and it isn’t always clear what employers are looking for. But while this awkward professional situation is sometimes daunting, like anything else, it is a skill that can be practised and perfected. The more carefully you prepare, the better you will do.
What Makes an Interview Successful?
The first step in nailing an interview is to simply understand what a successful interview looks like. Here are four key aspects to keep in mind:
It’s Social: You should demonstrate that you’d be a pleasure to work with.
It’s Professional: Your presentation must be sharp, efficient, and diplomatic.
It’s Human: You need to present yourself as genuine and earnest.
The Details Matter: From your outfit to your posture, everything is information.
What Employers Look For At An Interview?
Because the process is so brief, interviewers are looking carefully at the following:
Your Appearance: Are you stylish, professional, and meticulous?
Your Tact: Do you understand appropriate professional language and etiquette?
Your Body Language: Are you someone who projects success and commands respect?
Your Confidence: Do you feel qualified for the job and able to handle the responsibilities?
50 Interview Tips That Can Help You – The Do’s and the Don’ts
Do come prepared.
Do arrive early.
Do quiz yourself in advance with practice questions.
Do dress stylishly and meticulously.
Do sit up straight and speak with confidence.
Do make eye contact. But don’t overdo it to the point where you make the interviewer uncomfortable.
Do take some time to consider your answers and respond thoughtfully. You shouldn’t feel pressured to answer each question in rapid fire.
Do take time for pleasantries and a bit of casual social banter.
Do your research about the company and the employer beforehand.
Do set up Google alerts to keep you abreast of the latest developments at the company.
Do spend time researching the market and the forces that are influencing the industry.
Do follow up with a thank-you email, letting the interviewer know it was nice to meet them and that you look forward to hearing back soon.
Do subtly put your name on their radar the day after the interview by liking a post on their social media account.
Do ensure that your most recent posts on your social media accounts show something positive and professional.
Do strike a power pose before you head to the interview. It will boost your endorphins and improve your confidence.
Do use language that is appropriate for the job environment and demonstrate your experience by using a bit of well-placed jargon.
Do be yourself. You want to project an authentic and genuine demeanour.
Do understand that interviews are as much an opportunity to show the employer that you would be a pleasant person to work with as they are to demonstrate skills and experience, this is a social opportunity.
Do consider your career goals and clearly define your reasons for wanting the job.
Do practice your interview skills with a friend or colleague.
Do prepare answers to common interview questions.
Do eat a healthy and energising breakfast before going in.
Do breath deeply, relax the muscles of your face, and take the time to pause before the interview.
Do exercise regularly in the week leading up to the interview.
Do your homework about the industry and the company.
Don’t stress yourself out by dwelling on negative possibilities.
Don’t slip into the non-professional language.
Don’t simply recap your resume. An interview is a chance to demonstrate all the qualities your resume cannot.
Don’t be brusque with the administrative staff. You need to impress every person you encounter at the company.
Don’t forget to smile and introduce some appropriate levity into the interview.
Don’t fail to use the interview process as a networking opportunity.
Don’t get flustered if you slip up on a question.
Don’t be late because you get lost along the way or encounter some unexpected circumstance. Plan for delays.
Don’t forget that this is a fundamentally social situation. Be amiable.
Don’t allow your answers to go off on tangents. Keep the focus on your best qualities.
Don’t schedule for late in the week, if you can avoid it. The ideal time for an interview is 10:30 on a Tuesday when employers are most likely to remember you.
Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know the answer to a question. It’s better than faking it.
Don’t speak ill of former coworkers, employers or colleagues.
Don’t reveal unnecessary personal information or make unprofessional remarks.
Don’t forget to give a firm handshake.
Don’t let your tact lapse. You need to demonstrate the diplomatic behaviour.
Don’t apologise unnecessarily.
Don’t fail to follow up after the interview with all of your contacts at the company.
Don’t brag or oversell yourself. Humility is a powerful, persuasive tool.
Don’t mention your shortcomings or make excuses.
Don’t let nerves paralyse you. Relax and act naturally.
Don’t forget to highlight your biggest strengths.
Don’t panic! You’ll do great.
While this may seem like an insurmountable amount of information to take in and remember, it is also important not to overthink things. Prepare ahead of time, present yourself with confidence, and you can’t go wrong.
When you are ready to look for your next job, feel free to browse through our Telegraph jobs and send us your CV so we can set up your next interview. We wish you the best of luck.