You have secured that elusive job interview – congratulations! Now is the time to translate your skills on paper to an interview which makes you stand out from the crowd and ultimately, secure the job.
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for the interview:
Smile and be positive. Only a small percentage of communication involves actual words. Most of our communication is actually body language and tone of voice. So be sure to convey your enthusiasm for the position with a confident handshake, a smile, eye contact and good posture.
Be concise. Be sure to answer the question in a succinct and productive way. Provide examples of how your experience and skills match the position. Try to be specific and engaging about how you are suited for the position.
Come prepared. Research the company and the position so you can provide answers in context. Think about some key questions they are likely to ask. These may include: ‘Tell me about yourself,’ ‘What are your weaknesses?’ ‘Why do you think you are suited to this position?’ These may seem like difficult questions so prop yourself in front of the mirror at home and practise until you feel confident!
Stay calm and be flexible. You may be asked to answer something you haven’t prepared for, or taken aback by a certain question. Remain calm and collected. Take a moment to gather your thoughts and do your best to answer the interviewer’s question.
Ask questions. A few intelligent and appropriate questions can demonstrate both your keenness and understanding of what the position involves. Avoid small-talk or superficial questions and instead focus on a couple of well thought out enquiries.
Dress to impress. Creating a positive impression is essential. Personal presentation should be professional and appropriate. For more about how to dress for an interview, read ‘ Dress to impress at interviews.’
Bad-mouth employers or colleagues. Don’t make any derogatory comments about past or current employers or work-places. Find a polite way to explain leaving a position or your reason for seeking a new role.
Answer questions with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. An interviewer’s question is a gateway to showcasing your skills. Use each answer as an opportunity to include more information and examples which will set you apart from the crowd.
Be arrogant. Confidence is excellent but if it borders on arrogance, it can be very off-putting for an employer. Highlight your strengths without being presumptuous.
Be late. It is best to aim to arrive 5-10 minutes early just in case there are traffic, parking or public transport issues. First impressions are important and tardiness is considered unacceptable.
Lie. Put your best foot forward without telling any untruths. Put a positive spin on any lack of experience in certain areas but convey that you are enthusiastic about learning new skills and are an adaptable worker.
Lastly, when you leave an interview remember to say thank you!