This post was written by an external contributor. Chloe Smith reflects on her own experiences to share the top 3 tips for anyone preparing for an interview.
They say that experience is the best form of learning. However, when it comes to job interviews, ideally you want to know all the best practices before you’re sat in front of your potential employer.
So, I’m here to make the whole interview process that little bit easier for everyone. Here are three top tips to take note of before you try out for that new career path.
Research, research, research
Prior to an interview, it’s vital that you research both the company you’re applying to, and the position you’re applying for. Not only does it show that you’re prepared, but also that you appreciate the role.
The company’s website and the job’s advertisement are a good place to start. Social media is also helpful to see in terms of how and what a company posts, how it targets its audience, and what’s important to the business overall.
I’m not saying you must learn the company’s entire history, but just knowing a little about what its values, targets and key milestones are will really be beneficial in the long run. It will demonstrate your knowledge, dedication and enthusiasm for a role.
Based on my own experience, I found that listing off a handful of these facts when a related subject came up really seemed to surprise the person interviewing me, gaining a positive reaction. It may put you above your competitors, so do your homework!
Confidence is key
Confidence is practically a given thing when it comes to interviews. Sadly, not all of us are naturally as gifted in this trait as others. This can sometimes put the introverted candidates at a disadvantage.
Despite my own struggles in this area, I recognised that you’ll make an impression if you’re bold. For instance, I went for a job interview where there was a group task, and I made a conscious effort to speak up. The employers took notice of this, and remembered me as a result.
In turn, experiences such as this has helped me with my nerves a little, and helped my general confidence too. These tips for introverts have some great advice to work from, but I also have another tried and tested method. The ‘fake it til you make it’ approach.
Feigning confidence when I started interviewing eventually helped me become more outspoken in the long run. Perhaps this may be worth a try if you’re struggling to find your own voice at first.
Ask more unique questions
No matter how positively an interview may have gone, I would always falter when asked if I had any questions. I tried out a few generic ones, however I found that these didn’t receive much engagement. Probably because the employer had been asked the exact same ones before and had got a bit tired of hearing them.
Following this, I tried to think of questions on the fly during the interview itself. These would typically be on the back of something that had been said. Or alternatively, a genuine question I had been wondering prior to the interview about the role that hadn’t yet been answered.
By using this method, I demonstrated my ability to improvise, and showed that I was invested in what the interviewer was saying.
I also made a conscious effort to come up with questions that were unique and would be memorable. Prior to this, I may have worried that they would come across as silly. However, quirky questions more often than not have a positive reaction (provided they are appropriate for the setting!).
Do some digging, and think about asking things that will make an impression.