It can sometimes be the most daunting thing to go into a room to be interviewed, no matter how much you have prepared.
In addition to the normal nerves that one faces, competition is fierce in the job market today and the interview can be the only opportunity you have to shine. It’s a lot of pressure to be under. However, there are certain things you can do and things that you should avoid which will help make the process as easy as possible.
Do – your research
This may sound like the most obvious thing in the book, but I can’t tell you the amount of times I have had someone come to an interview with very little knowledge of who we are and what we do as a company. We usually ask questions about our clients and work to ascertain how much research the interviewee has done, so don’t let yourself be caught out. As long as you have a good handle on the job spec, what the company does and who is interviewing you, then you should be fine.
Do – be conversational
This can be quite hard if you are really nervous, but there is nothing worse than walking to the interview room in complete silence. Chances are your interviewer won’t break the ice for you, so this is your opportunity to start the conversation and steer it in your way. Even if it’s just small talk about the weather or your journey, start talking and being friendly at the earliest opportunity.
Do – be honest if you don’t know something
Interviewers interview people all the time, and they will be able to see right through any acts of bullsh*t. So my advice would be don’t do it. There is nothing wrong with saying that you don’t know something but you are keen to learn about it.
Do – use the interview time to talk about things other than what’s on your CV
The interview is the first chance you have to tell the interviewers things about yourself that they otherwise wouldn’t know. Don’t just sit there are regurgitate your CV as they will have already seen it and know what’s on there. Instead talk to them about how you would practically use your skills in the job you are interviewing for.
Do – ask questions
When it comes to the end of the interview, make sure that you have at least three questions prepared to ask. I always find that it’s better to have at least 5 and then choose which ones to ask based on the conversation that you have had. Having questions shows that you are interested in the job and the company in general and that you are taking the process seriously.
Don’t – panic over hard questions
Sometimes interviewers ask you questions that they don’t expect you to know the answers to, so if you get asked one of these don’t panic. Instead, calmly think about it and answer it in the following way “whilst I don’t know the answer to that particular question, here is how I would go about finding out the correct answer” and list a simple way of solving the problem.
Don’t – let your body language do all your talking for you
It takes someone less than a minute to decide whether they like you or not so body language is so important but don’t let it do all the talking for you. If you avoid eye contact or hunch your shoulders, you will come across as nervous, whereas if you sit up straight, make eye contact and smile you will come across as confident.
Whilst interviews are never easy, if you keen these in mind they should help prepare you. The best piece of advice that I can offer you is to practice beforehand, whether it’s with a friend, family-member or even just the mirror – practice makes perfect.
About the author
Article provided by Amy Shaw, Senior PR Executive, Curated Digital