Being an exceptional candidate for your dream job means boosting your interview performance to the highest possible level.
But how do you ensure you leave a lasting impression on your interviewer? How can you convince the interviewer that you are the right person for the job? Following these simple tips gives you some indication of proven techniques to succeed in job interviews.
It’s easy enough to check out prospective employers online, as their company website and financial statements will provide you with the basic information you need.
However, if you really want this job, be prepared to go the extra mile in your research using sites like LinkedIn and ZoomInfo to learn about the competition and marketplace. Your ultimate aim is to work out exactly where your role fits into the workplace culture and the benefits you can offer, if they choose to hire you.
2. Consider Your Outfit
Give it thought and dress appropriately. You can check out the company dress code by way of a quick phone call, however, even if a casual dress code is operational, opt for the smartest possible outfit.
Keep in mind that you want to dress to impress and you won’t go far wrong!
3. Prepare Yourself in Advance
Rehearse the types of answers you plan to deliver and work on your delivery skills, so you produce a slick and confident response that isn’t too wordy.
How wordy should candidates be exactly? Around 1-2 minutes is a good amount, but the content in what you say is far more important than the length of time you are talking. If you can deliver your key message succinctly in just 30 seconds, don’t waffle on for 3 minutes. You will most likely end up stumbling over your words, and introducing jargon that simply isn’t necessary.
4. Work on Your CV and Work History
This way you’re not under stress if queries are raised on reasons for leaving certain jobs, the types of tasks you did or your major achievements within certain roles. It’s important to remain as concise as possible and not to wander off topic or become flustered.
Re-read through your CV, to ensure you know it inside and out. That way, if the interviewer asks about specific skills, situations, or experiences that you’ve mentioned, you can quickly talk more on the subject.
5. Project Confidence
One of the best tips for successful interviews is to project confidence and self belief. If you know you’re a great candidate for the job, you need to make your interviewer aware of this fact.
Ensuring you have rehearsed any answers, and are fully knowledgeable on any questions the interviewer may have is key to projecting confidence during your interview. If you have a good idea of what you want to say and convey to the recruiter, then you will appear calm, collected, and confident in yourself.
An important way to convey this confidence further is to use power words. For instance, instead of stating something along the lines of the fact you’ve “attended meetings with agencies on a regular basis”, you could state that you have “provided input on regional policy at monthly interdepartmental meetings”. This gives more information on what you have achieved, alongside projecting confidence around your past experience.
Otherwise, having a positive attitude and preparing thoroughly in advance of your interview is the best way to reflect your belief and self confidence.
6. Be an Active Listener
The interview is as much about testing your listening skills as it is about finding out why you’re the right person for this job.
Make sure you listen in an active manner, your interviewers will provide you with valuable information and messages throughout the interview, so make the most of this opportunity and use the details given to model your responses to questions.
7. Control the Dialogue
Understand that your interviewer(s) will probably be looking for a 30/70 dialogue split, where they will speak for around 30 percent of the time and your responses take up to 70 percent of the allotted time. However, if it’s at all possible, you can try to up the amount of time the interviewer is involved in talking, to allow for a more conversation tone that you can direct towards any particular topics of strengths you have.
Despite the fact this can be tricky to achieve, it’s not hard to ensure you engage the interviewer in the conversation itself. For instance, after you’ve answered an interviewer’s question, you could fire one back, or perhaps ask if they’d like to you elaborate on a certain point. This keeps the interviewer engaged in the conversation, rather than having them state their scripted questions every time you have finished talking. Alongside this, when you are discussing the role itself, or are given opportunities to ask the interviewer questions, keep the tone casual and conversation, in order to engage with them further.
At all times, try to sound as natural as you can, in order to help with your confidence and overall likeability. If your responses seem scripted, then it won’t be as “human”, which is never something a recruiter likes to see. Ultimately, they are looking for someone to work with their team; which requires interactivity and conversations on a daily basis. If you don’t appear like someone who could get involved with the team, then you may fall short of being given the role.
Try to build as much rapport as possible, asking your interviewer if you have provided sufficient information in answer to queries is one way of establishing a more conversational situation and increasing rapport.
8. Watch Your Language
Gear your language to the workplace culture in operation and ensure your professionalism and suitability for this role is highlighted. If they are looking for someone technical, and the interviewer or recruiter is very knowledgeable on the subject, be sure to include technical aspects in your language. If the position is for a role with professional responsibilities, then slang and more common terms may not have a place within the interview.
Alongside this, if there are certain intricate processes or skills that would only be known by experts in this area, be sure to mention them; although you should avoid mentioning buzzwords for the sake of mentioning them. Also, avoid any business jargon that has little meaning, and may show the interviewer you are being vague in an attempt to cloud the fact you don’t understand a certain concept.
9. Prepare Questions
Employers enjoy the interactive experience of interviewing a well-prepared candidate who has listened well throughout the interview and asks for further details on the role or workplace.
If a candidate has no questions about a role, then it can signal that you aren’t as interested or invested in the role as they would like. A candidate who asks multiple questions about the role will look a lot more passionate and curious about the position in question; which is exactly what the recruiter wants to see.
10. Say Thanks
Sending a thank you letter a few days after an interview is one more opportunity to highlight your interest in the role and the strengths and skills you can offer the employer. Tell them you’ve enjoyed meeting with them, and that you’re still very interested in the role; it’s also a great opportunity to detail the skills you can offer the company, now that you know even more about the role in question.
For more tips on how to succeed at your next job interview, be sure to check out our free information on interview success here.
Ensuring you are ready for an important interview is never a simple task, and that is why we are here to help. Interview Skills Consulting can assist you in standing out at your next interview, so you can secure your dream job.
Our professional team help you prepare for specific interviews with one-to-one coaching sessions. Contact us to learn more.