Posted: 15th Feb 2021

How to Impress at Interview

 

Few things in life are more nerve-wracking than interviewing for a job, but being invited means you have already sparked an employer’s interest.

They want to fill their hiring gap – you just need to convince them that you’re the solution.

 

Many Service leavers will not have had an interview since they joined up, which can be quite a daunting prospect.

Bear in mind that if you are invited to interview, the company wants to know more about you and you have already sparked their interest. They have picked YOU from the huge pile of CVs submitted, and you have passed that crucial first hurdle.

It helps if you can treat the interview like a collaboration, not a competition. The aim on both sides is to see if there’s a mutual fit. Most hiring managers will want you to succeed. They want you to be ‘the one’!

If you try to keep this positivity in mind, you will be more likely to feel relaxed.

 

Don't Stress, Just Impress!

In the current climate, most interviewing now takes place online. What does this mean for candidates? Do you need to prepare differently?

The short answer is ‘no’. Try to treat this type of interview exactly as you would a face to face.

Set the scene; look the part!

Clear the area and try to focus on being as professional as possible. Try not to have anything in the picture which will detract from you and what you are saying. The interviewer may be able to see more than you think. Avoid interruption. Wear what you would to a face-to-face interview.

 

Let Your Body do the Talking

Although you’re not in the same room as your interviewer physically, body language remains essential. Sit up straight, look attentive and enthusiastic. Try to keep hand movements to a minimum. Look at the camera as much as you can as this will be eye-contact. Remember to smile.

Make use of notes, but don’t rely on them too much

Try not to use notes as a script, but they can help you to answer any difficult questions or remember specific facts about the role or company.

 

Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail

Have a compelling reason for ‘why this company?’. Review the values of the organisation as many companies are proud of these. Try to think of how these align with your own and why.

Try to provide examples using metrics/data. There’s nothing better than bolstering a success story with a great data point. For example, 'improved retention by 20%’. Use the STAR model (Situation, Task, Action, Result). Focus on outcomes and your role in that.

 

Be Inquisitive

Interviewers appreciate questions that can promote discussions and interaction. Try to bring out your research on the organisation within a question, such as referring to recent announcements or the current political or economic situation. Questions such as ‘What are the greatest challenges you are facing in the industry following the recent announcement of X?’ or ‘I understand from my research that your closest competitor is xxx; what gives you the edge?’ will show that you have done your research as well as encouraging a two-way conversation with the interviewer.

 

And do remember - PRACTISE!

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