So, you've successfully landed yourself an interview for a new job (yes!) — but, how do you ensure you ace the interview?
Whether it’s your dream job or a step along the way, a change of direction or a leap of faith, this is something you really want but the interview is filling you with dread. We hear you, but with a little effort and correct preparation, you can turn this to your advantage! Here are four intriguing tips to help you beat fierce competition and demonstrate you are the only one for the job!
1. It’s not a competition if you're the only one in the game — focus on yourself and let your unique qualities shine!
We all know that strong competition can be intimidating, but don’t let this undermine your self-belief. Worrying about the competition won’t improve your chances of success, in fact it will only waste time and energy that you should be investing in yourself. Instead, focus on your own qualities and abilities and spend time reflecting on all the reasons why you would be great for the job.
Think about authentic examples of any relevant experience you have, so that you can recall these with ease at the right moment. This way, when the big day comes, you will be in a positive frame of mind and will be very clear about what you have to offer. Confidence in yourself encourages other people to have confidence in you too, so a little self-belief goes a long way in interview situations. Combine that self-belief with genuine passion and enthusiasm and you have a winning combination!
2. Yes, it’s about you, but it’s also about them — know them like a number one fan!
People love talking about themselves and you can use this to your advantage in an interview situation! A little flattery can go a long way, so spend time in advance, thoroughly researching the company, the CEO and the interviewers. Familiarise yourself with the company’s mission, ethos and values. Arm yourself with a comprehensive understanding of the company workforce, so that you can clearly demonstrate just how much of a good fit you would be.
Make yourself stand out as a serious candidate by dressing appropriately for the company culture and using your background knowledge to strike up relevant and interesting conversation. Remember that interviewers are just people, so use your research findings to connect with them on a personal level. Impress them with your soft skills - be sociable, amiable and professional - who wouldn’t want to hire you?!
3. Body language is key —before, during and after! Say it without words and leave a lasting impression!
So you are all ready to talk the talk, but don’t forget that your ability to walk the walk is just as crucial! Speech is not the only way we communicate, our body language plays a big part in how we are perceived by others so getting it spot-on will take your interview to the next level.
Begin by preparing ahead, calm your nerves and banish self-doubt with positive affirmations in the days leading up to the interview. Practise power-poses to boost your confidence and get you into that winning mindset before the interview. Arrive at the interview in good time so that you appear calm and composed when you are called in. First impressions can only be made once, so a firm handshake and friendly eye contact are important. Think about your posture and remember those power poses!
During the interview your aim is to appear professional, confident and open. Walk in calmly, sit up straight and keep your legs and arms uncrossed. Don’t allow yourself to fidget as you may come across as looking bored. When speaking, use appropriate eye contact and hand gestures - just don’t go over the top! Calm your nerves by imagining you are talking to a friend and the interviewer will be impressed by your composure. At the end of the interview remember to smile and shake hands before exiting calmly - give yourself credit for displaying excellent professional body language!
Don’t over talk —leave the waffle at the breakfast table!
An easy trap to fall into during an interview is talking too much. Sometimes less really is more and this is very true when it comes to interviews. Help give your answers an edge by rehearsing thoroughly in the days beforehand. Reflect on your relevant experience and select specific examples that highlight your skills, qualities and expertise. Remember that your interviewer will have allocated a time-frame for your interview, so keep your answers interesting and concise. That way you will win points for being engaging and the interviewer will appreciate that you haven’t taken up more time than necessary!
Liz Floyd, says; “try to keep your answers succinct, punchy and specific so if the interviewer asks you, what was your role in a particular project, answer specifically about what you did, try not to waffle about what other team members did”. There’s a fine line between talking too much and not saying enough, but with advance preparation, you can strike the right balance and leave the interviewer in no doubt that you are the obvious choice for the job!
Interviews don’t have to be negative experiences or things to fear. The secret is to view them as positive opportunities to show-off your unique qualities. With self-belief, careful preparation and good technique you will wow the interviewer and knock the competition out of the game!
By Thrivhers Contributing Editor: Gemma Coldwell
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