If you’re on the hunt for a new job, there’s no need to tell you how difficult it can be securing a position. Whether you’re just starting your search or have fruitlessly been checking job sites and online adverts for months on end, it goes without saying that finding a new job takes time and effort.
But then, just when you think it’s time to give up and allow yourself a few more months in your current position, you’re suddenly asked to come for an interview! You’re elated, you’re excited and you’re also nervous – naturally.
So how do you harness all of this pent-up energy to ensure you impress enough in your interview to secure the job? Here are some top tips to get you hired.
For a start, you need to get your body language right. Of course, the way you answer questions and talk about yourself is important, but this is all supported by the way you project yourself – no one is going to hire you if you sit slumped in your chair, fiddling with your hair. Things to be aware of:
- Give your interviewer a firm handshake when greeting them
- Make eye contact regularly
- Be relaxed but alert – sit up straight but don’t wriggle around on the edge of your seat and give the impression of being nervous
- Feel free to gesticulate, but don’t go overboard
- Don’t slump!
How to respond
It’s difficult to give advice on how you should respond to interview questions because obviously there is no way of predicting what you’ll be asked. However, there is some general advice that will help you out and ensure you answer with confidence and determination – which is what an interviewer will be looking for.
You’ll be nervous in your interview – everyone is – and this is something employers will be used to, so don’t let it worry you. The more you think about the fact you’re nervous, the more you’ll stutter, sweat and fluff your answers. If you’re not sure how to answer something pause and take a drink of water to collect your thoughts. You should also:
- Ask for clarification if you don’t understand a question, rather than trying to muddle together an answer
- Speak clearly and at a steady pace
- Don’t mumble
- Listen very carefully and give answers, as well as evidence to support the point you’ve just made – don’t just answer yes or no
- Breathe slowly and calmly if you feel yourself getting nervous
There are some things you should always do when preparing for an interview. It is this effort that shows you’ve gone the extra mile and will put you ahead of the competition.
- Arrive a little early – this will give you time to collect your thoughts
- If you have a portfolio, ensure it is all organised and well-presented
- Research the company! This is essential as it shows you’re serious about working there
- Have a copy of your CV, cover letter and any application forms
- Have a drink of water to cool you down and ensure your throat doesn’t get dry
- Switch off your mobile!
- Dress appropriately
And good luck!
Image courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/lululemonathletica/3924194774/