After going through a number of my own and hearing stories of how people I know tried and failed to make their job interview a success, what makes the perfect interview? Why is it that all job interviews are so terrifying? Of course, for many it is because the job is one that they have dreamed of for a long time but going in nervous is only going to end one way. For this reason, here are some tips for the perfect interview.
Prepare - The biggest mistake that you can make heading into the interview is going in without having researched the role on offer as well as the company itself. Put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer; how does it look if you turn up not even knowing what you're applying for? The answer; awful. Interviewers will want to see that you have passion for the role and also have knowledge and ideas about the company you want to work for.
Avoid The Common Mistakes - Sometimes we can walk out of an interview thinking it has gone well without realising that we have actually made one of the fundamental mistakes we need to avoid. For example, lack of knowledge on your own past. You will more than likely be asked about your past employment and if you stutter or fail to answer questions on this, your resume will probably be thrown in the bin as soon as you leave.
Furthermore, it is easy to become a robot in an interview but again, this will harm your chances of getting the role. Preparation is vital to success in your interview but that doesn't mean you should rattle off pre-prepared answers to every question they may have. Emotion is important in an interview so you should try and turn it into a conversation rather than listing off your well-rehearsed skill set, for example.
Body Language - This often says more than words during an interview so it can be important to get it right. Rather than sitting back, slouching, arms crossed, sit forward and project your points confidently. Use your arms to explain your points and show that you are passionate about what you do and what you are applying for.
Dress To Impress - Whether it is a manager, owner, supervisor, or anybody else, their minds will be made up about you very quickly. If you walk in wearing a tracksuit and scruffy trainers, their minds will be made up instantly. Wear the smartest clothes you have whilst trying to remain simple; this means that the bright green shirt should stay in the wardrobe. Sure, it might make them remember you but probably for the wrong reasons.
Make sure you are clean, have tidied up any facial hair and maybe even get a haircut. You want to show your potential employer that you would be a fine employee so dress to impress.
Be Ready - The interviewer WILL try and catch you off guard so you have to be ready for that 'killer' question that so many companies are famous for. 'How would your past colleagues describe you' or 'what are you biggest faults' can be tough questions to answer as you wouldn't necessarily expect them. Instead of going wide eyed and laughing 'well, I wasn't expecting that, I don't know really', stay calm and answer the question with confidence. If you need a little extra time, ask for the question again and then draw up a sensible, smart answer that keeps you in a good light.
Questions - You could have the best interview in the history of all interviews until the last couple of minutes when the interviewer asks 'have you got any questions for me?'. The most common response to this is 'no' and this can ruin an interview, no matter how good it was up until that point. This is your chance to show that you are taking the role seriously and want to learn more about the job as a whole. What questions should you ask?
'What would be the biggest task for someone in this role in the next year?' - This is a great question because it can give you a chance to show off. If they say something that you did every day in your previous job, you can point this out and potentially calm any nerves they may have about you.
'Do you have any concerns about me as a potential employee?' - Again, a fantastic question as it shows confidence and it gives you a chance to fight your case. If they are worried about your lack of experience, for example, you can counter this and argue why this shouldn't be a problem.
'What is the next step in this process?' - This is a great question to finish on as it shows that you are ready for the next step. Don't walk out of the room not knowing what comes next, find out so you can be ready for it; you don't want an unexpected phone call early in the morning where you aren't ready to answer more questions.
Ultimately, job interviews can be tough but if you remember to stay confident, there is no reason why you can't succeed. If you walk into the room all nervous and unable to answer the questions, you are giving them reasons not to hire you. Instead, give them reasons why they should hire you!