Top 10 tips for your next job interview

Engineer sitting at table for job interview

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking and, for many, can be a barrier to finding their next career opportunity. Our experts know a thing or two about how to leave a lasting impression on an interviewer. Prepping for your next interview? Read our top tips here:

1. Do your research

Get as much information on the role as you can – job descriptions and person specifications give you a great idea of what the interviewer is looking for and you can prepare accordingly. Make sure you look at the company’s website and get a good understanding of what they do, their values and history.

2. Prepare, prepare and prepare some more

You can easily prepare answers to some typical interview questions ahead of the game, especially any tricky ones you anticipate. For example, “What are your main strengths/weaknesses?” is a popular question. When preparing for these, you could use the ‘STAR’ method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your answers. Remember to use clear examples of where your impact made a positive difference. Most interviewers will ask you at the end if you have any questions to ask them too, so prepare some questions in advance in case you’re stuck for ideas on the day.

3. Check the format of the interview

Is it virtual, in-person, or at an external venue? If it’s virtual, test the software on your device so you know the camera and speakers are working. Ensure you have a plain non-distracting background in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. If you are being interviewed in the company offices, make sure you know where they are and have a dry run so you can assess traffic and parking options – this avoids unnecessary stress on the day.

4. Dress appropriately

To make a positive impression, make sure to dress appropriately for the role you are being interviewed for. Smart, clean and well-groomed is always a fail safe but the outfit you choose may depend on the industry, the company and its culture.

5. Arrive early – give yourself plenty of time

Whether it’s a video call or an in-person interview, don’t arrive at the last minute. Aim to arrive at the venue 15 minutes prior, or log into the video call a few minutes early to give yourself chance to resolve any technical difficulties.

6. Smile

You may be nervous, but this is a great way to start and instantly warms the interviewer to you – it will also help you relax. Be ready for small talk as you will need to interact with your interviewer on a personal level.

7. What to take

It’s a good idea to have a copy of your CV to hand as the interviewer may refer to this throughout your discussion. It may also be worth considering a portfolio or examples of your work, and perhaps a list of references you can leave. Take a notepad and pen so you can make notes.

8. Be authentic

Be yourself, show your personality but ensure you answer the questions candidly and concisely. Never lie or exaggerate your abilities – interviewers will value your honesty and integrity over any skill.

9. Make a final statement

A good tip when the interview is ending is to say “I would just like to say thank you for your time. I’m very interested in the opportunity and it’s an environment I feel comfortable in. Do you have any reservations or concerns about my ability to do this job? Because if you do, I would really like to take the opportunity to clear these up before I go”. This is a great way to resolve any potential issues and leave you in pole position.

10. Follow up with the interviewer afterwards

Send a brief email to the interviewer thanking them for their time and reiterating your interest in the role. If you’ve forgotten to ask any questions in the interview, you can also raise them here.

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