The day has come: You have found your dream job, your application letter was successful, and you have secured an interview with a recruitment manager.
But now your work has really begun. Because you only get one chance to make a first impression.
Even the most experienced and qualified jobseekers need to prepare for interviews.
Because interview skills are learned and every job position you apply for demands a different set of requirements from you.
Thanks to our experience and expertise in recruitment consulting, we have come up with the 7 best interview techniques on how to ace your interview for your dream career:
1: Practice Good Non-verbal Communication
When you’re preparing for a job interview, the chances are you will be spending your time thinking of answers to the questions you may be asked. But non-verbal communication is just as important as what you say.
During your interview, your potential boss or recruitment managers will be listening to what you are saying, but they will also be closely reading your body language. Subtle non-verbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions and hand gestures can reveal a lot about how you are feeling.
During your interview, focus on making eye contact with the hiring manager for a few seconds at a time. Smile and nod at appropriate times, and pay close attention to what the manager is talking about.
You should also pay attention to your posture. Leaning slightly in (don’t slouch!) towards your could-be manager will show him or her that you are interested and engaged in the conversation.
Projecting a strong and confident image can go a long way in lending credibility to what you say during your interview.
2: Dress for the Job or Company
Just because the employees at your dream job attend work in jeans and T-shirts, it doesn’t mean you should dress the same to attend your interview.
Generally speaking, you should wear professional or business attire to a job interview and avoid wearing anything too bright or flashy that could distract the hiring manager.
3: Listen as Well as Talk
One of the most important interview techniques we can give you is to actively listen.
From the very start of your interview, your hiring manager will be giving you information (either directly or indirectly). If you don’t hear it, you may miss an important opportunity (which you do not want to happen during an interview for your dream career!).
Being a good listener means correctly understanding what is being said and using that information to direct your thoughts for relevant further action.
To show that you are actively listening during an interview, you should:
- Directly answer the questions you are asked
- Use your body language to show that you are engaged in what the interviewer is saying
- Take notes during the interview
- Relate your answers back to things that were said earlier.
The words you choose and how you deliver them both contribute to how you are perceived. However, bear in mind that sometimes, it is what you do while you are not talking that separates you from the competition.
4: Clarify your Unique Selling Points
Remember that your end goal during an interview is to convince the recruitment manager that you are the most suitable candidate for your dream job. With this in mind, you should prepare to go into your interview with three to five unique selling points that demonstrate that you are the best person for the role. For each selling point, you should have an example that demonstrates how your skills will benefit the company for which you are hoping to work. For example, if you have good communication skills, you should give an example of how these skills could add value and benefit to the company.
Candidates who ace interviews also tell the interviewer why they want the job – including what interests them about it and the rewards it brings that they find attractive. Remember that unless the hiring manager believes that you are really interested in the job, they will not offer you the position – no matter how suitable you are for the role!
5: Anticipate the Interviewer’s Concerns
Think about it; there are always more candidates than job positions. This means interviewers look for ways to screen people out to narrow down the most suitable interviewees for the advertised job role.
During your interview preparation, think of any reasons why the recruitment manager may not want to hire you and carefully prepare your defence. Nobody can be the best at everything, but you can get pretty good at overcoming any objections that the interviewer may put forward.
6: Prepare Questions
“Have you got any questions?”: it’s the question most interviewees dread; and a question that most interviewees do not know how to answer.
Whether you like it or not, interviewers always ask if you have any questions, and you should always have one or two ready.
Because not asking any questions may give the impression that you are not all that interested in the company or the job position.
A good all-purpose question to ask is: “If you could design the ideal candidate for the job, what would he or she be like?”
Attending the interview with some intelligent and insightful questions for the interviewer will demonstrate your knowledge of the company as well as your serious intent.
7: Take Responsibility for the Interview
In an effort to be polite, some naturally assertive candidates often become overly passive during job interviews. But remember that politeness doesn’t necessarily equal passivity. Remember that an interview should be like any other conversation – an exchange in which you and the recruitment manager respond to one another. In other words, sitting there waiting for the interviewer to ask you about that Employee of the Month award that you won is a big mistake. It is your responsibility to make your best assets known!
You know you can do the job; make sure the hiring manager knows you can, too! More details on our Interview Coaching can be found here.