Jan 31, 2017

10 simple rules for a successful interview

by Yolanda Graham

Nervous during interviews? You’re not alone.

Job interviews are one of life's most nerve-wracking experiences. After putting in a lot of effort into writing a resume, the interview is your last chance to convince the company that they should hire you.

Your best bet is to prepare for the interview as much as you can as much as you can. To help you prepare, we give you an infographic outlining the 10 simple rules for a successful interview.


1. Arrive early

Get to the interview venue early – perhaps 10-15 minutes before your interview starts. Use this time to relax and keep your thoughts clear. While arriving early or on time isn’t the deciding factor for getting hired, arriving late certainly isn’t going to impress the interviewer. It’s likely that your interviewer is a busy manager who has other tasks to tackle during their day. Arrive late and you’re likely to make a bad first impression, and they’ll be anxious about finishing your interview quickly.

2. Know the basic questions

There is a set of interview questions that will almost definitely be asked during all interviews. “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” “Where do you see yourself in five years?” “Why do you want to work for us?” Hiring managers ask these questions because they’re keen to find out about your work ethics and drive. Prepare genuine and professional answers.

3. Research skills and competency-based questions

Hiring managers use interviews to find further proof that you’re the right person for the job advertised. After looking at your resume, they’ll probably have questions about the goals and KPIs in your last job and what you did to achieve them. They’ll ask how you will use your skills to be successful in the job you’ve applied for. Depending on the role, the interviewer may also ask questions related to working with difficult people or working in a team.

4. Find out more about the company

Researching the company will give you plenty of material to help you convince the interviewers that you’re the right candidate. What does the company do? What are their products? What’s the culture like? Are they growing? It will help you tell them why you want to work with the company and how your skills will be valuable to them.

5. Prepare specific examples

An effective way of illustrating your skills and capabilities is through giving specific examples of how you achieved your goals. In your research of possible questions, think of your answers, and supplement them with real examples from your experience. Remember to keep your examples concise and relevant, and avoid rambling. 6. Rehearse your answers

In your preparation, you might think that having an idea of what you might say is enough. It may not be. Try asking and answering the questions aloud. You’ll hear yourself hum and haw, stumble over questions you thought you knew the answers to, and maybe even stammer – and this is just when you’re practising. Rehearsing your answers aloud will allow you to refine your answers and improve your fluency when the real thing happens.

7. Think about cultural fit too

Yes, the point of going for an interview is to get the job you applied for. But remember that you’re there to figure out whether the company is right for you, too. Think about the environment you’d like to work in and whether you can see yourself growing with the company. It’s important to relax and be yourself during the interview, and also prepare questions that will help you find out more about the company’s culture.

8. Set your phone to silent mode

Your smartphone is probably one of your most valuable belongings – except during interviews. If it rings while you’re answering a question, it might throw you off your train of thought. To the interviewer, it’s an unwelcome distraction. Worse if you answer it and decide to have a chat (it happens!). If you’re expecting an emergency call, let the interviewer know before you start.

9. Dress appropriately and comfortably

How you dress is a statement about yourself. If the company dress code is formal, make sure you’re dressed accordingly. If they dress casual, pick out a smart casual outfit. If you’re not sure what the dress code is, go for formal office attire. Wear clean, ironed clothes.

10. Have questions to ask

But don’t go straight into how much they’ll be paying you and what the company benefits are. Ask questions that show your interest in the job and the business – like what kinds of projects you’ll be working on, what the interviewer likes about working with the company, and possible career paths for your role.

BONUS RULE: Relax and show some personality

When you’re well prepared, you’ll be able to relax and show your personality. Why is this important, you might ask? Your awesome personality might be what gets you hired! Employers look for someone who’s a pleasure to work with, so let your personality shine through with confidence.

Original source: JobStreet

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