It is common that some candidates will be stressed before, during, and after an interview! Based on a number of factors, it’s not unusual for a usually accomplished individual to struggle at an interview.
Most people can’t help nerves, but to guard against other factors, the key is preparation, preparation, preparation. The more you prepare, the more confident and practiced you’ll be…and therefore, possibly less stressed!
Here are VIQU’s top tips for feeling at ease during interviews and leaving your future employer with the best possible impression:
1. First impressions count
Greet your interviewer with a smile and firm handshake, always maintaining eye contact. Try to make small talk during the walk from the reception area to the interview room. You have to sell yourself before you can sell anything else and the first 30 seconds are when the interviewer subconsciously makes decisions about whether they like you or not and whether you will fit into the team.Remember your body language; it is not what you say, but how you say it. During the interview, do not fold your arms and lean back or look to the floor! Sit upright and try to maintain good eye contact. Use your hands and lean forward when making a point. Many people cannot think and control their body language at the same time, which is why you need to prepare.
2. Do your research
Read the job description carefully, discuss any questions with your VIQU Consultant, and make sure you have thought about how your own skills and experience can contribute to what the employer is looking for in this role. Check out the manager’s LinkedIn profile and the client’s website – learn about what they do and what their business goals are. Its good practice to take a folder, paper, pen and print out any information and take it with you.
3. Know your CV
Interviews put you under pressure and can make you forget important things. Don’t take for granted that you remember what is on your CV – read it and make sure you know what you have written. If it becomes the focus of the conversation, you’ll be ready to talk about your experience, achievements and qualifications.
4. Arrive on time
Write down the address, work out how you’re going to get there and, if you can, do a practice run. Aim to arrive 15 minutes before the interview is scheduled to start. Although it can’t always be helped, candidates arriving late can find themselves on the back foot before the interview has even begun. For many it’s those candidates who nonchalantly arrive late with no apology who find themselves moving up the list of rejections. If you do find yourself running late, call the VIQU team as soon as possible.
However early or late you are, don’t forget to remove your chewing gum before entering the building!
5. Dress appropriately
What to wear for an interview varies according to the client, but your clothes should always be clean and smart. Ask your VIQU Consultant for the client’s policy and if in doubt, wear a business suit and appropriate shoes. An ironed shirt/blouse, and some shoe polish will only benefit your appearance.
6. Be positive
Be positive about yourself, the position you’re going for and your past experience. Your interviewer will be thinking about what it would be like to work with you, so the last thing they’ll want to hear is you talking about your boss or current colleagues behind their back. Interviewers like to see someone who enjoys a challenge and is enthusiastic. Demonstrate a ‘want’ for the new role you are interviewing for, as opposed to a ‘need’ to leave your current role.
7. Go into detail
Think of several examples of times when you accomplished something important. Be specific about what the task was, how you went about it, any problems you faced and what skills or strengths you used to succeed. Don’t forget to explain the positive end results of your actions. Answer questions properly – even if you need a few moments’ silence to collect your thoughts. It’s better to say you need a minute to think about your answer rather than speak instantly and regret it afterwards.
8. Emphasise all your strengths
There may be other candidates going for the job with similar work experience and qualifications to you, so make yourself stand out from the crowd. Highlight strengths that aren’t just a result of a job or a course. Are you a natural-born communicator? Are you persistent, hard-working and a technical guru? Let your interviewer know.
9. Ask questions
This not only gives you an opportunity to clarify anything you’re unsure of, it also shows you have an enquiring mind and are genuinely interested in the job. Always have an appropriate question to ask towards the end of the interview.
If you require any further advice, or have a specific question/query, please call the VIQU team on 0121 227 8200. You can also say hello on VIQU Chat, or contact us here.