In difficult economic times, finding a job can be difficult. So if you’ve got the golden ticket to the interview stage, then you need to pull out all the stops to make a winning impression. Read on to find out how to wow your new boss, beat the competition, and walk away with a new job.
The old expression ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’ couldn’t be more true when it comes to job interviews. To properly prepare is to be one step ahead of the competition already. So make sure you spend time on the following:
- Research the Company. It’s essential to spend time researching the company. Look at their website and any other online information, as well as analysing the market they’re in and their competitors. Being able to talk coherently about the company will show that you have taken the time to understand them.
- Plan your Route. Understand the location and prepare your route and journey – it’s amazing how many people turn up late having been lost or underestimating the time taken to get there.
- Prepare Answers. Some questions you will never be prepared for, but there are normally stock questions that you should be familiar with. Research common interview questions and have the (right) answers to hand on the day.
People make up their minds about each other within 30 seconds, so make sure that the minute you step through the door you’re prepared. Some 60% of the impressions we give are non-verbal. So apart from looking smart, smile, make eye contact and be ready with a firm handshake. Remember too that if you are interviewing overseas to be sensitive to any cultural differences.
Know your CV
You need to be able to talk confidently and succinctly about your employment history, so make sure you know your CV by rote. Muddled dates and muttering about not being sure where you were in 1996 will not inspire confidence, and could lead to the perception that your CV is more fiction than fact.
Demonstrate your Worth
Bosses want people who are going to fulfil their needs, so look for opportunities within an interview to demonstrate your previous successes. You should go through the job spec you are interviewing for, and have prepared examples of when you met those specifications in your previous job. For example, if you need to demonstrate a pro-active attitude, you should tell the interviewers about the time you suggested an ideas management scheme in your old job, implementing ideas management software to collect and manage staff ideas. An interview is no time to be modest and self-effacing.
Take Time to Answer Questions
When faced with difficult questions, don’t rush to answer them. Consider the question before answering. You can always say you need a moment to think about it – but the ability to think on your feet may be something they’re looking for, so only do that if strictly necessary. Looking thoughtful while you grapple to come up with a good answer is a better technique.
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