Top Ten Tips for Great Interviews

Top Ten Tips for Great Interviews

You have been selected for a role that matches your skillset perfectly. How to get your perfect job. You really want to be offered the job, but the hiring manager is looking for certain skills and experience and you can be sure all the interviewees will have those. So… do you stand out during the interview?

1). Research the organization. You will find lots of information about the organization on their website, social media profiles, financial reports and business plan etc. Knowing the organization’s competitors and market presence goes a long way to proving your interest in the role. 

2). Be prepared. Find out what kind of interview it will be so you will have an idea of the format and study the job description, soft and hard skills associated with the role. Be prepared to answer main interview questions – for example what would you bring to this role in terms of your skills? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Why do you see yourself as a good fit for this role? evaluates this for you.

3). Know exactly where you are going. Find out how long it takes to get there, factoring in traffic and parking etc.

4). Dress appropriately. This still means formal business wear in most cases. Get your outfit ready within plenty of time, if it is a morning interview, get your outfit ready the night before. First impressions really do count - studies show that on average employers make a decision about whether to hire you within the first seven minutes.

5). Be punctual. Arrive calmly to an interview with a few minutes to mentally prepare yourself. Turning up to an interview late or just by the skin of your teeth does not inspire the hiring manger. It shows you do not have the required organizational and time management skills for the role, similarly, so does turning up far too early. Be courteous to everyone you come in contact with. 

6). Be confident. Maintaining eye contact, using a firm hand shake, being attentive, having a cheerful demeanor and speaking clearly and confidently are all ways to help showcase your suitability for the role.

7). Be courteous. Wait to sit down until you are asked to do so. Relax, sit naturally, show your hands. Do not fidget with them or anything else, for example, your mobile phone, which should be switched off and put away.

8). Listen. Carefully listen to the questions being asked of you and make sure you fully understand them. Take a deep breath and answer clearly and concisely. Do not ramble or overshare personal information. In the same vein keep your questions to the interviewer relevant to the role. Always speak positively about current and previous employers.

9). Ask questions. Ask thought-provoking questions that you have already researched and listen carefully to everything the interviewer says. Write notes in a notebook and ask questions that show you are genuinely interested in the role and really listening. Bring extra copies of your resume and any relevant documentation that help strengthen your suitability for the role and sell yourself throughout the interview.

10). Follow up. Thank the interviewer for his time and follow up with a thank you email after the interview, reinforcing your interest in the role and asking for feedback. The feedback will be invaluable when you prepare for the second interview.



Amanda Harris is a contributor to the WorkForceConnexion blog.