Interviews can be scary and daunting. You’re basically going in and trying to sell yourself to someone you don’t know at all. What I have found while I interview candidates is that a lot of them sell themselves short by making small mistakes that end up costing them that amazing job opportunity.
As a recruiter, I try my best to sit, coach and give advice when I meet candidates that are scared or nervous in an interview and I completely understand how they feel. I was in the exact same position they are in at one stage in my life.
So how can you kill it in an interview and be remembered?
Be 15 Minutes early for your interview.
There is nothing an employer hates more than someone that is late for their interview. You knew about the interview way in advance and you cannot use traffic as an excuse. Take traffic into consideration and be early. I have interviewed candidates that don’t even apologize for being late. This will already start the interview off on a bad foot.
2. Dress the part
It doesn’t matter if you are going for an interview at a corporate company or a start-up tech company that allows you to wear casual clothes every day. Always dress professionally for your interview. Everyone has heard of the saying ”Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”. First impressions last and if you are rocking flip flops in an interview, I can tell you now, it won’t end well. And yes, I have interviewed someone that wore flip flops to their interview.
2. Start a conversation and be friendly
Before I start an interview with a candidate, I make small talk. I try my utmost to make them feel as comfortable as possible. As a recruiter, I completely understand how nerve-wracking an interview can be and I want you to be as comfortable as possible so you can portray the best version of yourself. But if you aren’t even willing to participate in that small talk, it makes it a little awkward. Learn to engage and make conversation with the person that is interviewing you. You may actually find that you get on really well and this makes the interview process a whole lot less stressful. Companies are big on culture fit and they want to make sure they are bringing someone in that will fit with the culture of the company and not bring a bad or negative vibe.
3. Know what is on your CV
This is an absolute must. Know your CV, know your reasons for leaving a company and know your start dates and end dates. We don’t want to be going through your CV with you and you don’t even know what’s on it. This just gets irritating and the person interviewing you will just want to cut the interview short.
4. Know your weaknesses
We all have weaknesses and one thing I have really noticed when interviewing candidates is that when I ask them what is one weakness they have, they stare at me with a blank look on their face. We all have weaknesses and I can tell you right now that one of my weaknesses is that I am not assertive enough. This is something I know I need to work on daily and that is my weakness. Have at least one weakness about yourself that you can mention and mention how you are working on that weakness.
5. Know your Core Competencies
What did your job entail? What do you have experience in? Those are your Core Competencies. If you are a Bookkeeper, an employer will ask you if you have done Bookkeeping to Trial Balance or what Bookvalue you have worked with. Those are your competencies. Don’t be afraid to mention all your core competencies. The more we know the better. We want to know that you are capable of doing the job and that you have the right experience. So many candidates leave so much off there CV because they feel it isn’t relevant but everything is relevant. Make sure you aren’t selling yourself short.
6. Don’t be overconfident
Never be overconfident and try not to come across as arrogant and opinionated in your interview. We already know you are good at what you do. If you have been asked to come for an interview, there is a reason for that. Don’t spoil it by being overconfident, opinionated and arrogant. Be approachable and friendly. Showcase your skills but show that you’re still eager to learn more and gain more experience.
7. Do research on the company
I always recommend doing research on the company before your interview. Some employers will ask you if you have done research and some won’t, however, being prepared for those possible questions is key. You really don’t want to be left staring blankly at the employer, not being able to answer the questions because you didn’t take the time to do research. Better to be prepared than not prepared.
Preparation is key. Interviews are daunting and scary but you can get through even the worst interviews if you prepare correctly. Best of luck and kick ass at your interviews.