It’s a competitive market and getting a job has become more and more difficult. You’re one of the lucky ones if you land a job straight away but if you’re like the rest of us then be prepared to be grilled by a few before you get HIRED! It’s a tiresome process but once you get that good news phone call it will all be worth it, so hang on in there!
1). First impressions…
counts! The interviewer has already formed an opinion on you by your appearance whether you like it or not so it’s important you have created a good one. Make sure you keep your outfit simple. Save that funky blazer, bright lipstick and the daring shirt for when you actually get the job but for now play it safe. After all less is more! For the ladies a classic black work dress or a light coloured blouse with subtle make up is perfect and for the gentlemen always wear a tie, polish your shoes and two squirts of aftershave is more than enough. Remember guys, it’s an interview not a date. If like me you have a dilemma of contact lenses or glasses then go with the glasses.
2). Do the 3 in 1!
So when your ‘future manager’ (lets be positive) comes to collect you at reception do the 3 in 1! – firm handshake, eye contact and smile all at once. You will come across approachable and your interviewer will feel more comfortable around you. Try it!
3). Be prepared!
They want to know two things –
- Can you do the job
- Will you fit into the culture of the team and organisation
Make sure you know the company well enough to talk about what they do, the different areas/sectors they work in, projects that they have going on and clients they work with. If they’re a global company then know some of the countries they operate in and how many. Don’t over complicate things. Look on the company website, bullet point and memorise. You might not even be asked about the company but if you are then it will set you apart from the other candidates who haven’t done their research.
And most likely they will ask the standard competency based questions so be prepared for things like…
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Tell me a time when you have had a difficult stakeholder/client and how you dealt with it?
- How do you prioritise your time?
- Give me an example when a task/project hasn’t gone to plan and what did you do?
These are all questions you can prep beforehand so make sure you give good examples to demonstrate you are a strong candidate and put a positive spin on every answer.
4). Should I BULLSHIT?
YES AND NO!
We all have a white lie in our CV somewhere. At the end of the day you have to sell yourself and the job market can feel like the survival of the fittest but nobody likes a bullshitter and trust me when I say they can smell one! The art of bullshitting in an interview is to know when and when not to do it. For example if the role requires you to process invoices and you have only ever done it once but can confidently carry out the task then YES bullshit. On the other hand if the role requires you to negotiate T&Cs with an external supplier and you have never done this before then NO don’t bullshit. They may ask questions around this and dig deeper and soon you will be busted so don’t put yourself in an awkward situation for no reason. You can say something like, ‘I haven’t had to do this as part of my role previously but I’d be happy to learn on the job. It’s an area I’ve wanted to cover and develop my skills further…’
If I was interviewing I’d love to ask, ‘Soooo, where’s the white lie in your CV?’ Haha! In mine I’ve put I can speak Spanish at an intermediate level – yeah right I wish! What’s your white lie? – Comment below!
5). Body Language
It’s important to make eye contact with everyone on the panel. Don’t leave anyone out because it will get noticed. If you have a habit of doing hand gestures when explaining then that’s okay but don’t overdo it. Place your hands on your lap but never cross them. Look interested at all times and don’t forget to SMILE! You only have roughly an hour or maybe less to impress so it’s important that you come across as a likeable candidate because nobody hires someone they don’t like no matter how good they are.
6). Ask Questions
The interviewers know that they’re in a powerful position and they will love to talk about themselves, especially more so in this scenario as they have someone like you who will listen so take this opportunity to boost their ego! Ask them things like how long have you worked here? What do you like about the company? Where did you work previously? If you get them to talk then it’s a good sign. Just stay quiet and listen, don’t interrupt, let them carry on talking!
7). How to close
NEVER ask if they have any reservations about you! I mean why would you want to end it on a negative note? Even if they don’t have any reservations they might actually start thinking of one so don’t ever ask that! Say something like this instead, ‘I am keen on this role and company. What would the next steps be?’ Keep it positive!
Aaaaand if you still don’t get that job then don’t be too hard on yourself! move on! I’m sure the right role for you is on it’s way… best of luck! 🙂