5 steps to bossing your job interview

So you’ve landed yourself a face-to-face job interview? Firstly, congratulations! Give yourself a pat on the back – it’s a fantastic achievement to be called to interview out of the dozens, possibly hundreds, of candidates who applied for the position.

You’ve clearly got some of the skills and qualities the company are looking for – now it’s just about locking in that job offer. And how well prepared you are can make the difference between landing the job or going back to square one and sending out another batch of CV’s – we know which one you’d prefer!

Here are our top 5 tips to help you boss your interview:

1. Don’t be late – in fact, get there early

Do you regularly miss your alarm and end up 5 minutes late? Under no circumstances should you let that happen on the day of your job interview. This is the one chance you have to show why you’re the perfect candidate for the role and why you’d make a good addition to the company – and if you can’t be punctual, why would they hire you?

Ideally, you need to leave early enough to arrive 10-15 minutes before your interview starts. Ensure you know exactly where you need to go, how to get there and where to park – and build in time for traffic-jams or delays. However, don’t be so keen that you arrive more than 20 minutes early. This could leave an equally negative impression about your time management skills.

2. Do your homework

This is no time to wing-it! Prepare for your interview by finding out as much as you can about the company you’re applying for. Check out their official website and social media profiles and try to understand what the company is all about. As well as showing you’re passionate about the job, this will help you to answer questions such as ‘why do you want to work for the company?’ with ease.

Go over the job description, requirements and the skills the company is looking for and think about some compelling reasons as to why you’re a good match. It’s also a good idea to go back over the CV you submitted to the company – are you prepared to answer questions about your experience in detail, including challenges and successes in each position listed?

3. First impressions count

Smiles are underrated! Being personable, warm and friendly with your interviewer speaks volumes about your personality. As well as being fit for the role, employers want to know that you’d be an enjoyable person to work with on a daily basis.

Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake and a warm smile, and try to show energy and positivity through your vocal tone. During the interview, make regular eye contact. When the interview has come to an end, remember to thank them for the opportunity and let them know how interested you are in the position. Make sure you get the interviewers card and follow up the interview with a thank-you email, too.

4. Beat the nerves

Remember that while preparing and practising is key to feeling ready for the day and beating your nerves, getting a good night’s sleep, having regular breaks, exercising and taking some time out to relax is equally necessary to ensure you’re in the right mindset to ace your interview.

It’s completely normal to feel on edge on the big day – but don’t let nerves take over to the point where they impact your performance negatively. If you’re feeling particularly nervous, try out some relaxation techniques. Listen to some upbeat, positive music or carry out breathing exercises – focus solely on your breathing, take deep breaths and hold each breath for 5-10 seconds.

There are a few giveaway signs of interview nerves – here’s how you can shut them down:

  • Face or hair touching. Bring a pen to keep your hands busy;
  • Crossed arms or legs. Try to relax and sit in a comfortable position;
  • Dry mouth. Take small but regular sips of water during the interview;
  • Trembling voice or stutter. Take a deep breath before each answer to gather your thoughts. If you can’t get your words out, the best thing to do is stop, pause and start again after a few seconds. Try to talk slowly if this is an issue for you.

5. Be honest

In today’s world of social media, it’s incredibly easy for someone to check up on you. Whether that’s by looking at your profiles or seeing who is a common network between you and raising questions, you need to make sure that your story and message are consistent. Even if you manage to ‘pull the wool over the eyes’ of your interviewer and exaggerate your skills or experience, you still face the risk of being caught out during reference checks or when you start work.

The biggest problem with lies is that you’re likely to get caught out – bringing your whole credibility into question. Remaining honest and talking about your greatest (true) qualities and skills means the employer’s expectations are realistic and attainable should you get the job.

Follow our tips to bossing your job interview and you’ll be well on your way to a ‘You’re hired’! If you’re still struggling to find your perfect job or need some extra help in your search, get in touch with S2 – we’d be more than happy help!

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