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Sharpen your interview technique with these top tips

Posted: 13 September 2016

Congratulations! After reading our blog on CV tips, your amazing CV has landed you an interview for the job of your dreams. Now is your chance to really sell yourself and your skills and convince your interviewer that you are the only person they’re looking for.

But interviews can be incredibly nerve-wracking. They can inspire fear in even the most seasoned candidates. But don’t worry. We’ve asked our consultants for their top interview tips so you can make sure you ace that interview!

  • You can never make a second first impression – We’re all human, we all make judgements about people far too quickly. Make sure that your first impression to your interviewer is professional and enthusiastic. You should be on time (which is 5 minutes early), neatly dressed and, if you really want to give off that ‘perfect candidate’ vibe you should address your interviewer by name when you greet them.
  • Check yourself before you wreck yourself – You know when your best friend gets a new partner and you want to know more about them, what do you do? You google them immediately and go through all their Facebook photos. This is what your potential employer might to do to you. So take a moment now to google yourself. If you can get through the first 3 pages of google without finding anything you wouldn’t show your granny, then you’ll be okay.
  • Practice makes perfect – Nobody is born being great at interviews. Rehearse some answers to common interview questions with your friends who can fire questions at you and give you feedback on your answers and body language. You could also video yourself and review the footage. You are your own worst critic so chances are, if you think you are giving good answers then your interviewer will too!
  • Choose silence not a thousand words – If your interviewer asks you a question and, despite your stellar preparations with your friends, it catches you off guard, don’t feel like you have to start talking straight away. Take a moment to collect your thoughts and give a reasoned answer. Don’t start speaking whilst simultaneously trying to find scraps of information from the back of your brain. You will end up desperately scrambling to finish a sentence that you can’t even remember the start of. Taking your time will make sure that you actually answer the question you are being asked as well as showing off your professionalism.
  • You’ve done the answers, now for the questions – Ask a question, or two questions, even three! Questions let your interviewer know that you’ve been listening and engaged throughout your interview. You should also arrive at your interview with some prepared questions to demonstrate that you’ve researched and understood the company, but always try and ask a question that links back to a conversation that you’ve had during the interview.
  • Leave them wanting more – If you watch a film that starts well, has some great suspense in the middle but the ending sucks, then you are going to walk out disappointed. The same goes for your interview so make sure you end it professionally. Ask if there is anything else you can provide your interviewer to show you are perfect for the role, maybe some work samples or more anecdotal evidence. Most importantly, make sure you thank everyone you have spoken to for taking the time to interview you, after all “manners maketh man” (or woman).
  • Always go bespoke – Follow up your interview with a personalised note, and we mean personalised. Editing a template with the appropriate names is just not going to cut it. Unless the job you are applying for specifically calls for apathetic candidates, it’s probably best to write a new letter each time. Just think of all the time and effort that you’ve put into your CV and your interview, why get lazy at the last hurdle?

If you think we’ve missed something and you still don’t feel like you’re going to 100% ace that interview, tweet your questions to us @ReThinkRec.