10 Easy To Follow Interview Tips
With the summer holidays in full swing, job interviews might be the last thing on your mind. However, it will be back-to-work before we know it and the long, leisurely break will be over. With this in mind, we asked around the ISV team for their top interview tips. If you are out of practice, having your first interview, or your first interview for a long time, then these 10 easy to follow interview tips will help motivate, inspire and boost your confidence ready to land that dream job.
- Research – Before attending a job interview make sure you carry out company research. You won’t be expected to know the business inside out but having a good knowledge of their products or services, their background and perhaps their key competitors will make you stand out.
- Q&A Preparation – One of the most useful ways to prepare is to rehearse various interview questions and responses. Most first interviews will have the same standard questions such as tell us about your CV, your likes and dislikes about each previous job, what motivates you and so on. It can be really useful to practice with a friend or family member. Many interviewers will ask for specific examples of work situations or projects so have some up your sleeve, ready to discuss. Remember the abbreviation STAR; situation, task, actions, result.
- Skills and qualifications – Hopefully you’re applying for roles where you have suitable skills, qualifications and/ or experience. Read the job description carefully to ensure you can offer what the employer is looking for, otherwise you’re wasting everyone’s time. It’s fine to talk about what transferable skills you have and which areas you are keen to develop. Self-awareness and a willingness to learn are always appreciated by employers.
- Dress Code – First impressions are important. Taking the time to think about what you’re wearing will play a huge part in how you are perceived. Even if the company has a casual approach, it’s better to appear smarter than to dress down.
- Smile – If you’re nervous before the interview, that’s understandable but remember to smile. Not only does this demonstrate warmth and openness but smiling releases calming, happy hormones which will help nip those nerves in the bud. Go for a natural smile and tell yourself that it is a genuine pleasure to meet the interviewer.
- Positive language – Positioning yourself as a positive, can-do person will not go unnoticed. Talk positively about previous roles, your successes and what you enjoyed about your work or education experience. Always avoid talking negatively about your previous experiences, employers and colleagues.
- Body talk – Be aware of your body language. If you are tense, twitchy or come across as closed, the interviewers will pick up on this. Make eye contact, be open or even try body language techniques like ‘mirroring’ (where you subtly mimic the person opposite you in their stance, position or gestures). If you’re worried about slouching, push your bottom to the back of the chair when you sit. This will force you to sit up straight!
- Portfolio – If you have examples of previous work you have done, it can be a good idea to bring these with you, this can be particularly relevant for creative roles. Along with the examples, be prepared to tell your interviewers the impact of your work and the results it generated.
- Any Questions – Every interview closes with the interviewer asking, “Do you have any questions?” Always make sure you do! You might genuinely feel that your interviewer has answered everything but it’s your chance to ensure you fit with each other. Preparing questions before the interview can save you an awkward ending. Sample questions might be asking about how many team members there are, what a typical day is like, how would they describe the company culture and so on.
- Follow up – This can be a minefield since not all employers appreciate a follow up if it can be perceived as pushy. However, a polite ‘thank you for your time’ is usually gratefully received. It leaves the door open for them to make the next move. If in the unlikely event you aren’t successful after reading this blog, always ask for feedback. It is important to understand why you weren’t progressed to the next stage and if you can do anything to improve in future interviews.
Most importantly in any job interview, try to relax, be yourself and enjoy the experience. Good luck!
Amanda Davies - Managing Director
Tel: 02380 816617