Tips and advice for a positive interview

Its easy to forget that a job interview goes both ways; it’s as important for you, as a candidate, to determine if the job, the company, the culture, and the work environment is right for you as it is for the company to determine if you’re right for them.

When people say a job interview should be a two-way street, they mean it—but you must make sure you actually get into the driver’s seat and take control of the conversation.

Remember a job interview gives you the chance to assess whether this is the right job for you. Unfortunately, most of us spend the entire interview just answering questions.

Don’t forget that only 7% of the interviewer’s opinion of you is formed by what you say – the rest is judged on how you present yourself.

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Our 4 step guide

After the Interview

How did it go?

After the interview, consider the areas you feel went well and those that you felt you needed to work on – then actually work on them! If there are knowledge or experience gaps missing, then this may be an ideal chance to consider them and work out whether you can fill in the gaps from within your current role to improve your chances next time.

Anything you are they missed?

Also, you need to call either the consultancy or the interviewer directly for feedback and thank them for their time. This may be the appropriate time to discuss any areas that need development as they often they become less of an issue through discussion at this stage.

Ok not this time, what about next time?

If you are not successful in your job application, consider telephoning the person who interviewed you to get feedback why you were not selected. This may not be appropriate depending on the client but if you discuss this with the consultancy, they are in the best position to advise you further.

Chin up! – As a final note, please remember that not every position is the right one for you so keep your chin up and you are sure to find the role that is right for you!

General Tips

  • Always quote examples of when you’ve used certain skills, make them real examples – just saying you’ve got a skill isn’t enough
  • Take your time when answering the questions. Make sure you understand the question and take your time if you need to think
  • Remember to ask questions relevant to the position. Emphasize what you can contribute to the company and not purely why you need a job. Lack of questions are sometimes mistaken for lack of interest
  • Sell yourself. No-one else is going to! Be positive about yourself and your experiences
  • Prepare some questions to ask at the end – use it as an opportunity to find out more about the role and the company. But don’t ask about money or perks just yet!
  • Only discuss salary if asked. When discussing salary, know your market worth
  • Get feedback on your performance, whether you were successful or not, as you can learn from this for future interviews
  • Turn off your mobile! Treat the interviewers with respect and give them your undivided attention
  • Keep your answers focused on what you can do for the employer, not what they can do for you
  • Keep positive even when confronted with a challenging question
  • Remember body language is important in interviews
  • Leave the interview with a “thank you” and when you can expect to hear some feedback from them

What not to do/Mistakes made:

  • Do not just regurgitate the website statistics and content. Interviewers are looking for more than someone that can surf and remember company website information. They want to know you have gone above and beyond this and you really want to work for them, you need to show passion
  • Don’t be late!
  • Don’t be too early
  • Don’t swear or use slang words
  • Don’t simply answer questions with “yes” or “no”. Explain your answers and give examples where you can
  • Don’t lie! The interviewer may see through you. Even if you get the job, your employer can dismiss you if they find out
  • Don’t let your nerves show too much. A few nerves are normal but extreme nerves will affect your performance. Use breathing techniques and try to remember that it’s not a life and death situation – there are plenty of jobs out there!
  • Don’t be arrogant and assume you’ve got the job. Nothing turns off employers more than someone who is disrespectful and over-confident
  • Don’t discuss controversial topics such as religion, politics and gender relations
  • Don’t read from notes or your CV. You should be familiar enough with your own history to be able to talk about it unprompted
  • Don’t criticise former employers or colleagues. Interviewers may mark you down as a troublemaker and a gossip
  • Don’t argue with the interviewer, no matter what. Remember to keep things positive!
  • Displaying low energy. …
  • Focusing too much on themselves. …
  • Seeming unprepared. …
  • Not having any questions.
  • Forgetting to follow up
  • Following up too aggressively

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