How to Ace Your Job Interview – Fruition IT
For many hardened professionals, job interviews are still the stuff of nightmares. Anxiety is understandable; after all, the interview is the key to your new challenge, and, potentially, a higher income too.
While you can never predict the questions you’ll be asked, you can give yourself a better chance of impressing the interview panel by going in with the right mind-set. Here are some tips that will help you prepare.
Do Your Homework
If you really want the job, prove it. Read about the company; find out who’s interviewing you. Check the company’s website and social media pages to find out more about its achievements. Find stories about the company in the news. Get excited about the role. Imagine what you could contribute.
The more you know about the organisation, the more engaged you will be during the interview, and the better you can demonstrate your enthusiasm to be part of the team.
Practice interviews can also be a really useful way of polishing your answers. Ask a friend to review the company’s site and ask you questions based on the job description. You’ll instantly get a feel for the areas you struggle with, giving you time to refine your technique ahead of time.
While some organisations have relaxed dress codes, we always stress that you are expected to present yourself professionally at the interview stage. That means dressing in smart business attire and making sure you look neat and tidy.
It makes sense to carry the job description, a map and your CV, so print out a fresh, crisp copy and put all papers in a plain folder. Don’t carry things in carrier bags, and don’t turn up with a half-eaten sandwich. And if you really have to bring your phone or tablet, make sure they are switched off before you even walk through the door.
Timing is Everything
You’ll be expected to arrive early for interview, so give yourself more time than you really need. If you’re walking, plan to stroll – not sprint. If you’re driving, plan your route, check the traffic and use Google Maps to figure out where to park.
It’s much better to be early than late, but if you’re exceptionally early, find a coffee shop or library nearby and wait there for a while. Ten minutes of sitting around is normal; any more than that, and you’ll just get in the way.
During the Interview
Greet the head interviewer with a smile, shake hands briefly, and make eye contact. If there’s a panel, say hello to everyone in turn so that you appear polite and friendly, without being desperate.
During the interview itself, try to give focused, compact answers and ask for clarification where needed. Show initiative and enthusiasm where it applies. If you feel yourself rambling off topic, simply stop, apologise and ask for the question to be repeated. If you’re not sure what the question means, clarify it before you continue.
Interviewers will also pick up on your body language, so:
- Keep your hands still and folded
- Avoid playing with your clothing or hair
- Sit straight, without slouching back or forwards in your seat
- Direct your answer at the person who asked the question, but make eye contact with everyone on the panel from time to time
- If relevant, place your CV, portfolio examples or case studies on the desk for easy reference
It’s normal for an interviewer to give you the opportunity to ask questions. Have a couple of sensible questions prepared: potential for training, current news stories, or opportunities to get involved in team projects, for example. Avoid asking about other jobs at the company, salary, bonuses or holiday entitlement.
The key thing to remember is that the interviewer is looking for a good match for the job, and you have just as much chance as anyone else to be that match. It’s all about staying relaxed, cool and focused, playing up to your strengths while managing your nerves.
If you need help with interview techniques, or you’ve had feedback and want to improve, contact us at Fruition IT. We’ll help you polish your responses and get the job of your dreams.