So, you’ve landed a job interview? Fantastic! Now’s the scary part; the actual interview. Interviews are a scary process because you’re walking in blind. There are a few ways you can master a job interview, and who knows, you may even land the job!
Research The Company You’re Interviewing For
It seems obvious, but often a fatal flaw with interviews is that the interviewee knows nothing about the company they’re applying for. If you’ve ever seen The Devil Wears Prada, you would have been just as shocked as I was when Andy Sachs didn’t even research the magazine she was interviewing for. Rookie mistake. Sure, she got the job, but it’s just a movie, so you can’t take that expectation to heart. You should never walk into an interview without knowing at least something about the company you’ve applied for. Maike Sundmacher from Core Power Coaching offers great advice for pre-interview research. “Confidence in a job interview can come from many sources: mindset, physiology, positive self-talk and the good, old (and often underrated) act of preparation. My top tip to ace a job interview is to take time prior to the interview to carefully examine the company’s vision, mission and values (VMV). You can often find them on the website. Basically, the VMV tell you where the company wants to go in the future and how they seek to achieve this. In a sense, they indicate who the company’s personality and ambitions if the company was a person. The key is to align and link your own values and vision with the company’s and to keep the VMV in mind when answering interview questions. This way you can show off your in-depth research and create valuable links between you and the company in one smooth hit – plus: preparation is key to confidence. Sometimes it’s as easy and as conventional as that!” Find out more about Core Power Coaching by following them on Facebook and Instagram. To be fully prepared for the interview, Elise Stevens, founder of Age Defying Careers offers her helpful tips. "Find out as much as you can about the job, the organisation and who will be conducting the interview. Read through their website, including any media releases or annual reports. Check out their social media presence on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Get a feel for the workplace culture and the role itself. Ask your own network, particularly any professional networks. Do you know anybody who has experience with the organisation? Use all the information you’ve gathered to brainstorm possible interview questions – and how you’d respond. You might like to use the following scaffold to help you plan and role-play interview questions with a friend." Find out more about Age Defying Careers by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
Review Your CV
Before your interview, you should go over your CV and reflect on your past responsibilities and roles. This way, you won’t feel like you’re stumbling your words and forgetting things. Laura Galvin, the Director of Barratt Galvin, offers her advice for a pre-interview CV run through. “Once your interview time is secured, go through your own CV with a fine tooth comb. Make sure you can recall the dates of your employment at each employer and your reasons for leaving and be ready to discuss those. Preparing questions for the interviewer is key. Remember, an interview is not just about the company seeing if you are the right fit for them. This is the time where you get to ask questions to figure out if they are offering the type of environment that you wish to work in. How to ace the interview is to be able to recall some of this information during your interview. For example: “I noticed from [eg website] that the company has recently won an Equal Employer for Women Award within the industry. Congratulations! I was really pleased to see that and am grateful to interview with a team leading in this area” Or…. ”I noticed from your website that you offer ongoing training and development for your employees. Please, can you tell me a little bit more about what I could expect?” Asking questions about the company and commenting on the information you’ve come across helps you engage with your interviewer and show them that you are eager to work for their company.” Find out more about Barratt Galvin by following them on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Different Types of Interviews
There isn’t just one type of job interview; there are different ways potential employees can determine whether you’re suited for the job at hand or not. This can be with the classic one-on-one interview, in an office with your CV in front of the interviewer. This can be with an out of office interview, where you sit at a cafe or have lunch with your potential boss. This could even be a phone or video interview, where you set up a time to chat, but not face to face. This can also be in a group interview, where you are surrounded by a group of others who are being interviewed for the same position. The phone interview takes some practice; you have to choose the correct spot to conduct the interview. Make sure it’s quiet, whatever you’re using to conduct the interview is fully charged and has good access to cellular reception or WiFi. Casual, out of office interviews are often laid back, so you can chat with your interviewer about goals, ambitions and where you see the company going. Group interviews offer a chance to show that you’re a good listener, that you ask questions and you think fast. Make sure you check before the interview happens; you don’t want to have a surprise on the day!
Get Plenty Of Sleep The Night Before
You should feel 100% when you arrive at your interview, so make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before. It may be a stressful night, but if you show up to your interview yawning, or with bags under your eyes, it may give off the wrong impression. If you’ve been having a bit of trouble sleeping, it may not be your stress levels, it may actually be your mattress. If you’ve read any of our articles before, you know how important sleep is. Sleep is a deal breaker when it comes to your health, so if your mattress feels lumpy, saggy or a bit distorted, but you can’t afford to get yourself a whole new mattress, you should get a mattress topper. They can help you relax the night before your big interview, so you wake up feeling rested and ready to take the company by storm.
Dress To Impress
Dressing for the interview is a task in itself. You want to look the part, but you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard. You want to look professional, but not out of date. It’s a tricky balance to achieve. Coco Chanel once said “Dress shabbily and they notice the dress. Dress impeccably and they notice the woman.” When you’re planning your interview outfit, take into consideration what company you’re interviewing for. Professional interview attire for women may include a conservative suit, including a blazer, skirt or cigarette trousers of a solid colour, with limited jewellery and appropriate shoes. This doesn’t mean practical shoes; you can go ahead and wear your heels, just don’t rock up in a pair of sneakers or anything too casual. For men, similar rules follow. A clean, tailored suit or shirt and dress pants are acceptable for a job interview. For both parties, make sure you wake up with plenty of time before your interview, so you can spend some extra time in your bathroom getting ready. Make sure your shoes are clean, that you’ve had a shower the night before or the day of and you go light on the cologne/perfume. No choking hazards, please.
What To Bring On The Day
So, you’re about to leave for the interview. Make sure you wake up early, giving you plenty of time to get yourself ready for the interview and arrive with approximately twenty minutes before the interview commences. You do not want to be late to your interview,; it starts you off on the wrong foot. Before you leave, double check you have everything. This includes your ticket if you’re getting to your interview via public transport, any makeup you makeup need a touch-up and don’t forget a copy of your CV. Your interviewer may have a copy already, but you will always look prepared if you bring a copy for yourself. This gives the impression to the interviewer that you are prepped for this interview. You can also give the CV a look over before you enter the interview, to jog your memory. When you arrive, make sure you know who is interviewing you, and tell the receptionist, or whoever approaches you. Remember to not bring chewing gum, headphones, coffee or your phone to the interview. These can be deal breakers. Nerissa Chaux from FiltaGlobal offers her advice for interview preparation. "If you want the job, don’t wing it:
Have a printout of your resume, the position description, your questions and any associated documents handy. It is acceptable to refer and look down at your notes for reference throughout the interview. I guarantee your competitors haven't done this. It shows the interviewer you really want the job by taking the time to have good questions ready about the team, role and career prospect." Find out more about FiltaGlobal by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
During the interview, you should listen and make sure you’re paying attention to every question. Be polite, smile and make yourself feel approachable. When you introduce yourself, make sure you look your interviewer in the eyes. Sarina Russo offers her advice for acing the interview process. “In a very short space of time, an interviewer’s task is to determine if you have the skills and compatible personality for the job.
Candidates need to prepare for three employer interview tactics:
Open-ended questions: What, How, Why, When, or Where questions encourage you to do most of the talking. Examples - “When were you a member of a team?”; “Can you describe what it was like?”; “What would you do if …?” and “How did you handle a situation where …”
The use of silence; a long pause after you answer a question aims to encourage you to add to your answer - Beware this is sometimes to your detriment.
Previous work experience; many employers believe past performance is the surest guide to your future performance. So relate your work experience to succeed in the new role.” Find out more about Sarina Russo by following her on Facebook and Instagram. The questions asked in an interview can often be predictable, so it's important that you revise some of the most common questions before you head into the interview room. Neely Raffellini, founder of the 9 to 5 Project, offers her advice for those inevitable questions. "The biggest tip is to prepare! People don't believe this, but you can anticipate over 3/4 of the questions that will be asked in an interview. With odds like that, there is no reason to not be prepared. Preparation equals confidence! There are many resources available for interview preparation - find a book or website that speaks to you and go for it!" FInd out more about the 9 to 5 Project by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
After The Interview
Something that kind of goes over people's heads with an interview process is how to react after the interview itself. Dayna Edwards, a Career Consultant and MD of Get Hired Australia, offers her advice for post interview etiquette. "The reason interviews are still so important is because they offer employers the chance to evaluate those of your qualities which can’t simply be put down on paper or conveyed over a phone or skype call. They want to see how you present, speak, your personality, how you carry yourself and your professionalism. This includes the way you dress, how comfortable and personable you are, your professionalism, intelligence and the amount of natural ‘chemistry’ between both parties. The day following (or even the afternoon of) the interview, follow up with a thank you email to the Recruiter or Manager to thank them for their time and reiterate your interest." Find out more about Get Hired Australia by following them on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
The rest is up to you. Your talent and your skills can help you in your interview. Good luck, be calm and rock the interview!