Having spoken in depth to key industry figures, it is clear that the goal of any interview is to persuade the employer that:
- You have the skills and experience required for the role.
- You will fit well into the team
- You are adaptable enough to be managed and fit into the company culture.
- You will blend in and work well with the team
It’s important to see your interview not in Q&A terms but treat it like a sales pitch - and what you are pitching are your skills, experience and personality. You’ll have an hour at the most to sell yourself and prove that you are the best candidate for the job. So, before you go into an interview, remember:
- Exactly what the employer is looking for
- That essentially, you are selling a product – and the product is you
- To reinforce what it is you have that will meet their requirements
- You have one chance so don’t blow it by being unprepared
Other tips employers give is to maintain eye contact during the interview. You need to fully engage with the interviewer so keep regular eye contact when listening to questions and replying. This will show you are serious about the position and help establish a rapport with the person interviewing you. It also illustrates that when dealing with that company’s colleagues and clients, you will communicate well with them.
Employers tell us that body language is important during an interview. It’s important you make good eye contact and offer a firm handshake (where appropriate) and a friendly smile when first meeting the person interviewing you.
During the actual interview don’t slouch in your seat. Sit upright and be keen and alert.
Try not to fidget or shuffle in your seat. If you have a choice of seats, make sure you sit where you can clearly see all the interviewers. You don’t want to have to be turning your head to address a particular person every time you answer a question.