Whether you’re aiming to further your career or are looking for your first job, there’s nothing quite as stressful as preparing for an interview. First impressions count, and how you come across to a potential employer will either make or break your success. Preparation is vital – there’s nothing worse than going to an interview and winging it. Here’s how you can prepare yourself to land your dream job with our top five interview tips.
1. Do your research
Do some digging before you head into your interview. Learn as much as you can about the company – when was it founded? Who are the key players? Who are their main competitors? What are their proudest achievements? What projects have they recently completed? This research not only shows a keen interest in the company; but opens avenues for talking points and will help you stand out from the crowd.
2. Know how to sell yourself
One of the classic questions you can expect in an interview is “where do you see yourself in five years?” Your answer should reflect an ambition for growth – both your own, as well as the company’s. Find ways to highlight your strengths based on your past experiences, and to position your weaknesses as strengths. “I don’t perform well under pressure” can easily become “I’m aware of my limits and make it a priority to not get too stressed out”.
3. Prepare your own questions
There’s nothing more awkward than an interviewer asking, “do you have any questions for us?” only to be told “no, not really”. Asking questions shows a keen interest. Ask about their HR policies, ask about the importance of work-life balance, ask about why the position has become vacant, ask industry-specific questions, ask what kind of employee they’re looking for.
4. Be confident
If you’ve been selected for an interview, it shows that the company sees potential in you – now it’s up to you to own it and show it. Always maintain eye contact. Be assertive with your answers – show that you believe in yourself and what you’re saying.
5. Dress appropriately for the job
First impressions are what counts – chances are that if you walk into an interview room in a pair of flip flops, you’re not going to get the job. Having said that, every industry is different. You wouldn’t expect a banker to wear jeans and a t-shirt, just like you wouldn’t expect a graphic designer to wear a suit. Make sure you’re smart and well-groomed, but that the look matches the job.
Find out more in our post about Body Language; the lesser known interview tips
For help with your interviews, you can always contact us for advice. We will be able to tell you more about the company your interview is with, what clothing would be appropriate and the kind of questions you’re likely to be asked. It never hurts to be well prepared!