When it is time to wow your potential employers, it can be difficult to set yourself apart from the rest of the candidates. Once you get your foot in the door with an interview, it is time to make your impression. First impressions count, remember to dress the part and greet those you are meeting with a polite smile and a hand shake.
As soon as your interview time is confirmed, you should start your preparation. Study the job spec as well as the company website - your research is integral to your interview. The way to wow your potential employer is to show that you care - brush up on your knowledge, and prepare questions which you can ask yourself. Importantly, you should always prepare answers for conventional interview questions, as well as competency based questions asked in interviews, you need your answers to blow the employers away, make your answers the ones they remember. The night before your interview, ensure you get a good night’s sleep, lay out your clothes and allow yourself enough time to get ready. Plan your travel and allow yourself plenty of time to get to your interview, always be early, never late.
Positivity is key when job hunting - employers want staff who are happy to pick up any role necessary. A can do attitude can be the most beneficial tool, happiness rubs off on others - be a part of the yes movement and reap the rewards. Be attentive throughout your interview, and always check your posture – by slouching, you could appear disinterested and bored. Carrying out a SWOT analysis on yourself can be very useful – this way you can break down your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, this way you can work on your weaknesses and see what you can improve. Be yourself, be genuine. Think of your best qualities, and be sure these come across within the meeting.
What to say
Of course, you should know how to present yourself in an interview, and though it may seem obvious, never mention salary expectations within the first part of the interview unless asked. Always ask whether there is room for career growth within the company - by asking this question, it shows your potential employer that you are keen to grow, not only in your career but within their organisation. Another important question to ask is about their current training opportunities, again it will show you are looking to further your skills at their company. Show an interest in the company, yes it is a good sign that they are employing staff, but you should be sure to ask how the company is doing and whether they are growing. Ask about the company culture and where your role would sit in its current structure - this way you can get a better understanding of the team and how you would fit in. Often you will be asked complex questions, it is always best to clarify this question rather than answering it in a way that you are unsure if it will be seen as the correct thing to say.
As mentioned in my previous blog, social media is crucial to modern day business. Get active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, most companies run their own social media accounts, set up professional social media accounts and get following recruiters and potential employers. When reaching the interview stage, you will have another strength being social media under your belt. LinkedIn is a powerful tool where you can be headhunted, as well as search for new job opportunities. You need to make the most of these social media platforms, this is your opportunity to sell yourself to a huge market. Spend time thinking about the way you will come across when publishing status updates and tweets, understand that this is not just you and another east in an interview room discussing your previous experience, this is the internet, and though posts can be deleted it can never be guaranteed that it has not been seen. Being an active presence online is of great importance, but remember keep it professional.
Be sure to discuss your experience in great detail. Your experience is what will help you get the job, and keep it. If you have a portfolio of work which is impressive, take it to the interview with you - show your interviewer what you can do, this could be your ticket to get your feet under the desk. Explain what you can offer the company and relate your experience to your potential responsibilities. Relating back to the competency based questions, a potential employer may ask you to explain a time where you have prioritised your work load and managed your stress levels, think back to previous tasks which you have carried out and ensure that you show that you could cope with any situation thrown at you.
Yes, interviews can be nerve racking, particularly when you are very keen on a role. Interviewers expect candidates to be nervous in an interview, so do not be. Be the person who enters the interview room with confidence - polish your shoes and walk in with perfect posture, ensure you carry yourself well. Breathing is so important when being interviewed, keep your breathing regulated, this is help to keep yourself calm and ready for any question asked. Be confident, yet modest - the interviewer does not want to listen to a candidate bragging. The more you prepare for an interview the easier you will find it. Most importantly, believe in yourself - it is a great achievement for an agency to put you forward for a role, and then for the potential employer to ask to see you, remember this. You are the person they are wanting to see which is a huge positive and something to be proud of. And if you find it difficult to keep calm, even through all of your preparation, a couple of sprays of Rescue Remedy never hurt anybody!