With a tightening in the UK labour market recently predicted, the hunt for employment is once again hotting up. Employers are increasingly demanding the cream of the crop when it comes to their potential recruits meaning job seekers need to pull out all the stops at interview.
Yet in their efforts to stand out, some candidates overlook the essential information they need to convey. Here are some well-tested techniques which ensure you effectively communicate your key points at interview.
Research the requirements
A successful interviewee’s path to employment starts long before the interview itself. Comprehensive research is a critical process which underpins your performance on the day. Find out as much as you can about the job, the organisation, the people who run it and the company’s strategic direction. Gathering this information will help you work out what are the essentials you need to get across on the day. By building up a profile of who they are, how they work and what their plans are you can gauge how your skills, qualifications and experiences match up to their needs. From there you can start the process of linking your qualities to their requirements.
Script your story
The next step is working out what you are likely to be asked and preparing structured answers. Study the job description and person specification and lift out the criteria which appear in both. Now consider each criterion and think of an example which demonstrates your competency in this area. It is essential that you communicate how you, above all other candidates, are a perfect match for this role within the organisation.
Think back over past experiences and select situations which allow you to show how your performance impacted on the achievement of sales targets, completion of projects or successful conclusion of tasks. Using the STAR approach– situation, task, action and result- allows you to structure your answers in a meaningful way. Practice delivering your answers with a critical friend or professional interview coach who can provide informed feedback.
Engage with the interview panel
From the moment you open the interview door all aspects of your performance are being observed and considered by the panel. It is essential that you make your mark from the start by entering the room with confidence, smiling at each member of the interview team and shaking hands if appropriate. Use positive and open body language – sit upright, lean slightly forward when answering questions and never fold your arms. Make eye contact with each panel member and ensure your delivery is natural- you will obviously have practised your answers but they should not sound rehearsed.
React and respond
Listen carefully to the questions, mentally tease out the essential elements they contain, and tailor your answers accordingly. Your pre-prepared examples should provide plenty of supporting information but remember to adjust them depending on what is being asked on the day. Curve ball questions may come up so expect the unexpected. The panel want to see that you can think on your feet, so provide as natural a response as you can.
These tips will start you along the path to securing employment. Learn more about interview techniques to achieve interview success on the ISC Professional website.