Easy ways to shine in interviews
Easy ways to shine in interviews
Sweaty palms, a rapid heartbeat, and a knot in your stomach… No one enjoys a job interview, but often the same goes for the people asking the questions - a day spent interviewing can be stressful and tiring. Here's how putting yourself in your interviewer's shoes can help you land the job you want.
Make yourself memorable (for the right reasons)
Interviewers sometimes use a mental peg to identify candidates, as a day of meeting new people means taking in a lot of new information.
Stories make you easy to remember but they’re also a great way of demonstrating your skills. Before your interview, identify situations you could talk about which match key requirements of the role or soft skills. You can then draw on these examples at your interview – outline what the issue was, what you did about it and how things turned out. Being known as ‘the one who solved the ice cream problem,’ can really set you apart.
Show your enthusiasm
Few things lower an interviewer’s spirits more than candidates who don’t seem interested in the role.
Someone who is keen and knows their stuff can really help lift the day. Enthusiasm, initiative and a can-do attitude often compensate for a lack of experience too.
Be sure to check out the company website, do a Google search and try to get a sense of current priorities, likely challenges and future plans.
Ask a couple of questions which will show your understanding of the company and help you find out more about the role.
Answer the question
Sounds obvious, but this is a common bugbear for interviewers.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of launching into a long reply without taking time to consider what you’re really being asked.
Try and keep things fresh – don’t memorise set answers or you’ll seem stilted. Respond in a clear way and avoid waffle – better to be short and focused, rather than long and boring.
Even when faced with an excellent candidate, a boss will always think, ‘Do I want to work with this person and will they fit in with my team?’
So much of an interview is really about personal connection – if you’ve got through to interview stage you’re probably capable of doing the job, so success often comes down to other factors.
Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula as every situation and all relationships will be different, but do try to smile, make eye contact and be warm and friendly.
Keep a sense of balance
Interviews can often feel one-sided so it can really help to remember what you can control.
Think about the key points you want to get across and try and weave these into your answers or questions.
See your interview as an opportunity to find out if the employer and role feel right for you. Do you like the place or the people? What does your instinct tell you?
And don’t forget that your interviewer is probably uncomfortable too!
Finally, keep in mind that job interviews are rarely all or nothing and often get better with practice – an interview that goes badly now can give you an advantage next time or result in a better opportunity down the line. Thinking about what you can learn or do differently will really help you in future.
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Last updated: 9th June 2022
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