How to Handle an Interview
If you’re a little lacking in confidence or experience when it comes to important interviews, read on for some helpful hints
If, like many people in today’s economic climate, you’ve been searching for a job for what seems like forever, you could be forgiven for feeling stressed about an upcoming interview. Congratulations for getting this far – your search could be close to its end now. But first, you still have to go in and impress the interviewer enough that they choose you over all the other candidates. If you’re a little lacking in confidence or experience when it comes to important interviews, read on for some helpful hints.
Make a Good First Impression
Make no mistake: the interviewer begins to judge you as soon as you step into the room. Initial impressions can give you the edge over a broadly similar candidate, or even put you out of the running altogether. To take an extreme example, there’s absolutely no way that you’re going to get a job at a bustling commercial law firm if you turn up in a T-shirt and trainers. Seems obvious, right? And it is. But you need to pay attention to the minor details of your appearance too. Got a visible necklace? Remove it. A few wrinkles in your favourite shirt? Iron them out. Once you’re sure that you look the part, you need to concentrate on your persona. No one will ask you to try to be someone you’re not, but it cannot be denied that a confident and friendly demeanour will increase your chances of securing the job. When you shake the interviewer’s hand, use a firm grip. Make sure to ask them about their day – they’re probably a little bored of asking candidates exactly the same questions over and over, and if you break up this routine, you’ll be remembered. Try to maintain eye contact whilst answering questions, as this shows confidence and an ability to communicate well with others.
Give the Right Answers
Of course, not everyone has the perfect answers to every interview question. Candidates differ in their experiences, so that one person may have a perfect answer for every question and another may struggle, especially if your interviewer likes asking tricky questions. What you have to do is try to determine in advance what you will be asked, and prepare accordingly. For example, if you apply for a job at Facebook, you will inevitably be asked about the changing landscape of social media, or about the areas where Facebook risks ceding ground to its rivals. Thus, reading up on the industry and its current state would give you great information to fire back at an interviewer. You should also pay attention to the recruitment advertising. What does the business look for in its employees? What are its objectives? Does it have a corporate culture which specifically emphasises a particular lifestyle? You need to show that you know what makes the company turn and that you will fit in well. The interviewer would rather hire a good candidate who will grow with the business than a great one who will want to quit after a few months.
This has been a Guukle guest post
Phillip Smith is a professional recruiter who has interviewed candidates on behalf of several multinational businesses.