So, you’ve got an interview lined up – so what now? Interviews are opportunities that offer great rewards if successful (new jobs can even be life changing) and we often only get one chance to impress! So, you owe it to yourself to give it your best shot!
In this blog, we aim to give tips to job seekers and candidates on achieving job interview success by remembering the 3Ps – Preparation, Professionalism and Personality.
Although interviews are only approximately 30-90 minutes of your life, the pre-interview preparation (while it can feel a bit cringe) is what takes the most time and increases your chance of being successful.
The first P is Preparation for the interview, which might seem a little daunting but it’s something that will stand you in good stead at the interview because it shows that you are generally interested in the company, and will help you come across as more professional, knowledgeable, and that you understand the job role, and what skills and experience you can bring to it.
Most first interviews (post-covid) are now conducted over the video call so make sure you prepared – here is our blog on top six video interview tips.
When preparing for an interview – where do you start? Here’s a short summary of the key items that should be on your Preparation Checklist:
- Ensure you’ve looked over the job description
- Consider why you want the job and why you are the best fit
- Research the company to give context to your interview questions, research the role – what is involved? (especially if it’s a new role that you haven’t done before), what are the company’s culture and values? Look at reviews
- Develop a bit of an elevator pitch that quickly describes who you are, what you do and what you want. Consider answers to common interview questions more help here from Fish4.
- Practice your speaking voice and body language – pay special attention to your smile, handshake and stride
- Prepare at least 3 thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer
- Conduct mock interviews with friends and family as experiencing the interview situation will help you feel less nervous
- Print hard copies of your CV in case they are needed, know your work history and prepare explanations of any gaps or oddities.
- Prepare travel arrangements – aim to arrive early and allow for traffic, accidents and finding your way
- How will you sell yourself? Be aware of your skills, attributes and achievements.
- Prepare to follow-up afterwards – thank you, overview of what really interested you about the role/company, in the final paragraph invite them to ask you additional questions and close by saying you’re looking forward to hearing from them.
Situation – Task – Action – Result (STAR)
The STAR model is very useful tool and acronym to use to help keep your answers focused especially when explaining scenario-based answers to demonstrate key competences relevant to the role. Also, it can help stop waffling and structure your answers, helping you to remember the key points such as: the situation, the task, the action you took and the results achieved.
More about the STAR interview response technique here from balancecareers.com.
Our second P is Professionalism – obvious right? No, many people overlook this so it’s best to swat up on interview etiquette. Here is a great blog from work.chron.com on professionalism in an interview, which we have summarised below:
- First impression – dress professionally, present yourself well, don’t arrive late, cover up tattoos – the interviewer is more likely to see you as competent and capable
- Convey self-confidence – good posture, greeting people with a friendly smile, saying thank you, remember you have every right to be there and it’s a two-way process (you are also interviewing them), focus on being calm, natural and confident
- Show respect – act professional from the moment you arrive (even if on video call), dress smart, no chewing gum, consider your backdrop and tidy your surroundings if your interview is over video call. Never ask about salary at your first interview
- The small things –polished shoes, ironed shirts, and being well-groomed all shows that you would project a professional image to the company’s clients, and it goes a long way
- The next step – remember that the interviewer is thinking beyond the 30-90 minutes and will be envisaging you in the job – ensure you speak politely, communicate professionally and show gratitude.
The third P is Personality, which is what make the interview more engaging, allows you to connect with the interviewer and shows them the real you. Your true character, sense of humour and personal attributes are what can really make you stand out. Job interviews are formal situations and you should always be professional, but try not to be boring and remember showing your personality is welcomed.
The main thing is being yourself and coming across authentic and natural, pleasant to work with, and happy to be just you – this shows confidence. Don’t let the nerves get the better of you or forget to smile; let your personality shine through, it will make you more memorable.
Here’s some great pointers from megainterview.com on how to show your personality in an interview and more tips on preparation.
The main gist of this blog is that preparation, professionalism and personality are key things to remember when tackling job interviews. Practice makes perfect, and also makes you feel more relaxed, at ease, and confident.
If you need support with finding your next job role, or with help with interviews, get in-touch with us at SFR Recruitment Solutions we would be happy to help you. We wish you every success with your next job interview – go smash it!