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Saturday, 1 August 2015

Interview Top Tips

Interviews can be tough, but only if you make them. Before my first few interviews, I did a lot of research into techniques and best practices. Ultimately, I found that trial and error was my best method. I tried many different techniques and found the best that suited me, my keys to success in an interview.

Here are my top five tips:

1. Research the company/organisation
2. Prepare answers to likely questions
3. Research yourself and your accomplishments
4. Prepare questions to ask
5. Tailor your entire interview to your desired employer

Remember, you are selling yourself. Make them want you. 

What do I research?

When researching the company, look out for some history, some notable clients and most importantly: what the company does! Look at their products, current projects and mission statement. You are doing this to evidence how interested in the company you are.

When researching yourself, discover why you are unique. Collect all of your qualifications, training and programmes you have been involved in. Why are you so special? Take this time to learn yourself. Know what you are interested in and what you have done in your life. Every single increment of your past that is relevant should be accounted for. You are an individual with a lot to offer. Show them this.

What will they ask?

A lot of interviewers ask similar questions about your skills, qualities and what you could bring to the company. They also ask questions more applicable to the industry in general. Therefore, your research will work wonders for you.

In answering any questions, always use the STAR method. It stands for: Situation, Task, Action, Result. STAR will be covered in more depth in another article. Work through each answer piece by piece and remember to include which skills you have demonstrated.

Body Language!

My last piece of advice is body language. Non-verbal communication is incredibly important, even though it may not represent you if you are nervous or excited.

Remaining calm and knowing how to use your body is a key to success at interview. Always maintain eye contact, shake hands and use open body framework.

Most people worry about where to place their hands. I often recommend using hands for gestures. This betters your communication efforts whilst ensuring that you don't fidget throughout.

The most important part of body language is your appearance. Dress for the job. Appear clean and tidy. Wear what you believe a professional in that area would wear. If you are unsure, a suit is generally the best option.

Remain calm and in control. Sell yourself. 

Written by J Stefan Devlin

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