How to impress in an interview; our top tips

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Even for the most seasoned job seeker, interviews are stressful. It is your chance to present yourself in the best possible light, showing off your skills and personality, which a hiring manager cannot glean from your CV alone. However, research suggests that that on average we decide our first impression of a person in the first seven seconds of meeting them and spend the remainder of the time in their company looking for confirmation of our initial suspicions. It is crucial, therefore, that you hone your interview technique to maximise your chances of securing the role. We asked our most successful senior consultants their top tips for candidates preparing for an interview;

  • Make sure you go through every single point on the job description and are able to give quantifiable examples for each requirement. Of course, you will be asked about your CV, so rehearse delivering it, ensuring that the examples that you are offering relate to the role.
  • Research is key – you have to know what you are talking about. Study the company you are interviewing with in great detail; make sure you can competently explain their UK and International operations and always read the company’s annual reports if available.
  • Practice competency based questions, if possible alongside using the STAR method. This will allow you to be able to provide the client with distinct examples; preferably ones including an outcome where a lesson was learned.
  • It is important to find out in advance who you will be meeting and research their background. We encourage our candidates to look up the profile of the hiring manager, to discover if you have any mutual contacts, learn about them and engage with them on a personal level in the attempt to make a connection.
  • Don’t be late – in fact, be fifteen minutes early! It is also important to be courteous and kind to everybody, including the receptionist, the secretary or the PA, as they are likely to be part of the interview process and could be asked to give feedback to the hiring manager.
  • Your body language is also a huge giveaway and will determine whether you come across as confident or not. Maintain eye contact, avoid slouching or closed off / negative body language and always start the interview with a good handshake.
  • Answers to questions such as “why this company and/or why this role” need to be specific. A generic answer about wanting to work for a FTSE 100 business with room to progress etc. won’t excite interviewers. Instead, use a particular example about the business that genuinely attracts you to working there. Additionally, make sure you answer the question asked, not one that you want to be asked.
  • Successful candidates must be able to highlight their achievements and where they’ve gone above and beyond. Ensure you speak clearly, making concise and structured points and avoid rambling. Be confident in your achievements; you are here to sell yourself and leave a lasting impression.
  • Both throughout and towards the end of the interview, it is imperative that candidates ask questions, so have insightful ones prepared. You want to show you are interested and build rapport with the hiring team. You not only need to ask the questions; you have to listen to their answers. By engaging in an intelligent, thought out conversation you will become far more memorable once the interview is over.

If you would like Communicate’s assistance in finding your next role or would like to speak to one of our consultants about receiving tailored interview prep, then please get in contact at info@communciate-rs.com or call us on 020 3617 9730.