9 job interview tips to get hired
So, you either impressed an agency recruiter or the in-house recruiter at a company. Good for you! Take a minute to pat yourself on the back. Let’s not get too carried away, now comes the hard part. You need to smash the interview with the hiring manager so you get the job, your future will be secured, and one day you’ll sail off in to the sunset. Am I right? Of course I am! Now don’t panic, this is where I come in with some advice from Find. These are my 9 interview tips to get hired. So buckle up and let’s do this…
1) Do your homework on the company and the interviewer. I’ve lost count the times that I’ve heard an interviewer tell me that the candidate didn’t really know much about their company. This is 101 stuff people! Part of what makes the opportunity a valid one is the fact that you’ve done your homework on the company. You’ve turned up in your number one’s (best clothes) because you believe that the company is the right one for you. An interviewer will often ask, “what do you know about us?”. So be prepared.
It’s equally as important to know your interviewer. A good recruitment agency (like us) will send you the details of the interviewer including a link to their profile on LinkedIn. If you don’t get a link, hit LinkedIn yourself and do a search. What you may glean is a snippet of info that will allow you to break the ice or build instant rapport with the interviewer. This could be similar connections, schools, skills, you name it. Look for something you can use. High five yourself when this happens because it’s a sweet moment. Sorry, that should be stated as a virtual high five. The interview will be over quicker than it started if you actually high five yourself in front of the interviewer.
2) Know thy role! You should be able to get a job description from either the recruiter or the company you’re interviewing with. If one is not available get as much information about the role as you can. This is a key element and you should know that document or information inside and out before you sit down in the hot seat. The questions you will be asked, will focus on establishing whether or not you can do the job. They’ll be based off the role and description. Yes, they will ask you about your specific experience and skillset. The answers that they are looking for relate to the simple question, “can they do this job (well)?”.
3) Dress to impress and don’t be late. First impressions count, and if you’re not wearing appropriate clothing or you’re late, it could be “Game over”. A suit or formal business attire is recommended, especially in the space that we operate in. The interviewer or hiring manager will be judging you immediately on the effort you’ve gone to with your dress code. So dust off those glad rags and pimp yourself out!
Make sure you know where you are going. A poor excuse for why you’re late will limit your chances of success to 10%. Ok I made that percentage up, but believe me it’s low. I aim to get anywhere at least 15 minutes beforehand. My wife might say I’m always 30 minutes early! Potatoe potata… Just get there early ok?
4) Mental preparation. This might sound funny, but you need to get yourself in the mental groove before you rock in to an interview. What do I mean by that? Any interview that I’ve ever gone for, I’ve stood outside the interview location talking to myself (mentally), encouraging myself to go in there and give it my all. I think “leave your nerves at the door, they won’t do you any good”. If you do this, you will go in with your game face on. I’ve won more roles than I’ve lost and this simple practice helped me big time.
5) Firm handshakes all round. I can’t tell you enough how bad a weak handshake is. I’ve been given some shockers over the years. Again it sounds simple, but if done right can show an air of confidence and substance. I’m not talking about rolling out the crusher of all handshakes. All you need to do is not provide a wet fish when greeting the interviewer. Remember first impressions count!
6) Verbal and non verbal communication. Eye contact with the interviewer is a big one. Don’t give them the unblinking death stare, but when you’re talking to someone you need to give them some eye contact. In NZ it’s polite to do this. In some other cultures it’s a sign of disrespect. I get that, but if you want to succeed here give some eye contact. I’ve interviewed people that have stared at a wall off to the right whilst talking to me. I almost rolled my chair over to the wall. Don’t be that guy or girl.
Other positive non verbal communication is using your hands. I’m not talking about going full Donald Trump during the interview, I’m suggesting you add a little “animation” whilst talking about how amazing you are. Don’t cross your arms, that’s a big no no.
As far as verbal communication goes, be clear, be concise, be confident, not arrogant.
7) Thank the interviewer at the end. Such a simple thing and also a very easy one to forget. A “thank you very much for your time, it was nice to meet you” will go a very long way.
8) Debrief whilst it’s fresh. If you’re dealing with a great recruitment agency (such as Find), call the recruiter straight after whilst the interview is fresh in your mind. Tell them how it went and how you’re feeling. You are arming the recruiter to go back to the client and inform them how positive you were about the interview (or not), and they’ll be able to source the interviewers thoughts. It’s always good to know how you did, positive or not. We all learn from our experiences.
9) Be patient. The client or company will usually be interviewing other candidates for the role. You may have been first up. Give them a chance to run the process and to come back and advise next steps. Whatever you do, please don’t contact the interviewer directly if you’re going through an agency. It’s frowned upon and will limit your chances of securing that perfect role.
I hope this helps you secure that perfect role. Some of these tips are simple and common sense. They can also be easily forgotten under the pressure of a job interview. Make them part of your mindset before you interview. Be confident in your abilities and good luck out there!
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Kia kaha (stay strong)