Job interviewing never seems to get any easier. You are meeting new people, selling yourself and your skills, and often getting the third degree about what you know or don’t know. Whilst at Cape, we will never misrepresent you or tell you what to say, we are here to help and advise you, answer all of your questions and support you at every step of the way.
Here are job interview tips to help prepare you to interview effectively. Proper preparation which help alleviate some of the stress involved in job interviews and the more you prepare, the more comfortable you will be interviewing.
Job Interview Tips
Practice answering interview questions and practice your responses to the typical interview questions most employers ask. Think of actual examples you can use to describe your skills. Providing evidence of your successes is a great way to promote your candidacy. Also have a list of your own questions to ask the employer ready.
Prepare a response so you are ready for the question What do you know about this company? Know the interviewer’s name and use it during the job interview. If you’re not sure of the name, call and ask prior to the interview. Try to relate what you know about the company when answering questions.
- Get Ready
Make sure your interview attire is neat, tidy and appropriate for the type of firm you are interviewing with. Bring a nice portfolio with copies of your resume. Include a pen and paper for note taking.
- Be On Time
Be on time for the interview. On time means five to ten minutes early. If need be, take some time to drive to the interview location ahead of time so you know exactly where you are going and how long it will take to get there. Here’s more on preparing for an interview.
- Stay Calm
During the job interview try to relax and stay as calm possible. Take a moment to regroup. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Listen to the entire question before you answer and pay attention – you will be embarrassed if you forget the question!
- Show What You Know
Try to relate what you know about the company when answering questions. When discussing your career accomplishments match them to what the company is looking for. Here’s how to make a match between your expertise and the company’s requirements.
- Don’t waffle
Answer questions properly – even if you need a few moments’ silence to collect your thoughts. Anderson advises, “It’s better to say you need a minute to think about your answer rather than speak instantly and regret it afterwards.”
- Why should they hire you?
Most job adverts will list qualities they’re looking for – a team worker, a good communicator – so it’s up to you to think of examples of how you can demonstrate these skills. Be ready to talk about your knowledge, experience, abilities and skills. Have at least three strong points about yourself that you can relate to the company and job on offer.
- Be positive
Your interviewer will be thinking about what it would be like to work with you, so the last thing they’ll want to hear is you talking about your boss or current colleagues behind their back. Interviewers like to see someone who enjoys a challenge and is enthusiastic.
- Remember your body language
It is not what you say, but how you say it. During the interview, do not fold your arms and lean back or look to the floor! Sit upright and try to maintain good eye contact. Use your hands and lean forward when making a point. Many people cannot think and control their body language at the same time, which is why you need to prepare.
- Expect the unexpected
Your interviewer may try to catch you off guard: A survey by OfficeAngels has revealed that 90 per cent of employers ask ‘killer’ questions in interviews. It is impossible to plan for every difficult question, such as “How would your colleagues describe you?” but try to appear relaxed and in control. Ask the interviewer to repeat the question if necessary but do not evade it. Hopefully you will not befall the fate of those job candidates at B&Q who were asked to dance to “Blame it on the Boogie”!
- Develop rapport
Show energy, a sense of humour and smile. Jean Smith, a social anthropologist says: “It’s infectious, being positive and enthusiastic.” Ask your interviewer questions about themselves and any issues the business is facing.
- Clarify anything you are unsure of
If you are not certain what are meant by a particular question, ask for clarification. At the end, ask the interviewer if there is anything else he or she needs to know about. Do not be afraid to ask when you are likely to hear if you have been successful or not.
- Follow Up
Always follow-up with a thank you note reiterating your interest in the position. If you interview with multiple people send each one a personal thank you note. Send your thank you note (email is fine) within 24 hours of your interview.