Mark’s Top 10 Job Interview Tips
I still remember my very first ‘professional’ job interview, sitting in the boardroom, sweating profusely and my voice breaking with every answer I gave. For some, job interviews can be a daunting experience, luckily for me, now I thoroughly enjoy the process (and have a little more voice control).
Whether you are a fresh graduate or a Project Manager, I believe that the aim of an interview is for the interviewer to see if they can work with you (the interviewee) and if you can do the job.
It is also a chance for the interviewee to learn more about the role and to see if they too would like to work in this environment.
Note that a good recruiter should have already prepared both parties, minimising any element of surprise.
No matter who you ask, there will always be varying interview advice. However, the following are some of the job interview tips that have assisted me throughout my career:
1. Let the interviewer see the real you, they need to like the person that they are meeting with (and see them fitting in with the greater team). Try to find a point in common to build rapport.
2. Remain positive – never bring any negativity into a job interview. If you have had a negative experience, turn it into a positive and focus on positive learnings from the experience.
3. Be prepared, do your research, prepare and rehearse. Being fully prepared is likely to make you feel more confident and impress the interviewer.
4. Remain professional however let you true self come through. This includes being punctual, thanking the interviewer for their time and sending a follow up email. Also, never underestimate the power of small talk.
5. Clarify if you don’t understand a question or ask for further examples. Alternatively ask if this response answers the interviewer’s question.
6. Read body language and facial expressions. If the interviewer looks confused or unimpressed with an answer try to rephrase your message until you receive a positive response.
7. Mirror the tone and communication style of the interviewer where possible. If they want to speak about other topics, go with the flow. If they are a slower speaker then slow down to match the pace.
8. Try to follow a clear structure with your answers (for example the STAR model works with answers for all level positions).
9. Ensure that you are in the right space mentally. Try to be relaxed by perhaps arriving early and having a coffee or go for a walk before the interview.
10. Sell yourself, this is your chance to shine and show the interviewer how lucky they would be to have you as part of the team.
And one more for good luck:
11. If you are struggling to answer a question (and need more time to think) try to ask the interviewer an interesting and intelligent question (e.g. Do you mind if I ask you a question? What first motivated you to start a career in X or What do you like most about working at XYZ Company.
I wish you the very best of luck with your interviews and remember, they wouldn’t be interviewing you if they didn’t see potential in your CV.
An interview is your chance to shine!