Tips for success in a job interview

Tips for success in a job interview

There are several different styles of interviews, ranging from brief talks to multiple structured sessions, often with various interviewers. Use the interview process to showcase who you are and that you are the best candidate for the role.

Do your homework

When the questions begin, the more prepared you are, the more relaxed and at ease, you will be. The following are some interview tips and suggestions to help you improve your interviewing skills.

It’s a good idea to gather information about the company and try to link your expertise to the duties and responsibilities of the job opportunity. Additionally, look up the organisation online, visit their website for more detailed news and insight and their social media channel for information on their company culture. Websites such as Glassdoor may also provide additional details about the business.

Resist the urge to give your interviewer a LinkedIn connection request or a Facebook friend request. Instead, it is entirely appropriate to conduct social media research on your interviewer to gain insights into them and the company, as long as you concentrate on:

  • Identifying how his or her job relates to the position you’ve applied for will help you decide where to focus your responses, such as on technical aspects or the implementation process.
  • The organisation’s culture – you can get a sense of the sort of person who is likely to succeed there. 
  • Projects and customers – knowing what types of projects or clients the company deals with can help you prepare for your interview.
  • First-degree relationships in general – see if you have any former co-workers in common. If you do, enquire if they can provide you with any additional information about the business.
  • Read any blog posts or articles written by your interviewer that have been released. It will provide you with an understanding of his or her perspective on current business developments.
  • Comments – you can leave a comment on one or two of their blog posts if it is job related or industry-specific. When it comes time for your interview, your interviewer may recognise your name if you make an informative statement, but don’t go overboard. 

Prepare ahead of time

It would be best if you also prepared for the interview by:

  • Interviewing is something you should practise. Enlist the help of a friend (or a group of friends and co-workers) to ask you some sample questions. Don’t forget to make eye contact as much as possible.
  • Make a video of your practice sessions. Pay attention to your body language and how you present yourself verbally. Fillers like “oh” and “um” should be avoided as much as possible. And if you don’t feel confident, practise using constructive body language to signal it.
  • Take care of logistics first. To prevent unnecessary stress, have your wardrobe, resume, and directions to the interview location ready ahead of time. 
  • Make sure you dress the part. Dress, act and professionally present yourself. Remember: It is better to be overdressed than underdressed. In any case, it is crucial to have clean shoes, clean fingernails, and well-groomed hair.

Understand how to conduct a behavioural interview

Interviewers use behavioural interviewing to learn about a prospective employee’s motivations and working style. Behavioural interviewing is an interview that focuses on determining core competencies specific to the job, such as teamwork, imagination, innovation, decision-making capacity, business knowledge, and conflict resolution. The interviewer will look for examples of previous behaviour that reflect these skills. 

The following are some examples of behavioural interview questions:

  • Describe a time when you didn’t achieve your specified target. How did you deal with it?
  • Tell me about a time when you faced resistance from critical decision-makers. How did you persuade the individual or individuals to do what you wanted?
  • Describe a circumstance under which you took the initiative to improve a method or system. How did you figure out what the issue was? What steps did you take to bring about change? 

Before the interview, ask the recruiter for assistance or read the job description to learn about the role’s core competencies. Memorise one or two examples from your most recent positions that illustrate your strengths and achievements in each of the categories. 

During the interview

Bring a backup copy of your resume to the interview, just in case. We recommend arriving at least ten minutes early; interviewers are unimpressed by tardiness.

When you first meet your interviewer, a firm (but not bone-crunching) handshake and a broad smile can go a long way. Small talk from the reception area to the interview room would also be beneficial. These are the crucial seconds (not minutes) when it comes to making an excellent first impression.

Body language and other non-verbal communication are essential aspects of an interviewee’s performance. It’s easier said than done to appear relaxed and behave naturally, but assuming good posture will go a long way.

We recommend sitting up straight, leaning forwards slightly, and keeping clear eye contact with the interviewer or panellists at all times. A positive outcome will be limited if you appear uninterested.

If you accept the offer of a drink, this can be beneficial and can be used as a prop to buy you some time to answer a tricky question. Taking a drink demonstrates that you are relatively confident and comfortable.

Questions in an interview

Often, especially the first round of interviews, they should be approached as a two-way conversation, answering questions frankly, explicitly, and concisely. Since everyone in the room will focus on you, jargoning your answer or avoiding the topic will be more noticeable than you thought. If you have any doubts about a question, don’t be afraid to ask if they can rephrase it. Listen carefully, never interrupt, and respond to the questions asked.

A few common questions come up in most job interviews, and while you should prepare yourself, avoid rehearsing a precise response. According to us, working on large subject areas that are likely to come up during the interview is a safer way. 

Among these are the following:

General history: A request for a review of your background is always the first issue. Extracurricular sports, schooling, and qualifications should are all prioritised when applying for a first job. It is perfectly appropriate to restate significant points from your resume or application letter. 

Qualifications: “Why do you believe you are eligible for this position?” is a common question. Capabilities, in this context, refers to any educational, professional, or personal qualifications that equip you for the role. In most situations, this is the question that will determine whether you get the job or not by ensuring your answer is concise and memorable.

Experience: Here’s where your research pays off. You should include information related to the job position, the company, competitors, your educational experience that is a good fit, and a discussion of the industry.

Reasons for applying: Whether this is your first or fourth job, your response should explain what you like about their particular position on offer, how you prepared for a career with that company, and how you feel your current job prepares you for the role in question.

Goals: Prepare to talk about your long-term goals in terms of your career. Your best strategy is one that demonstrates you’ve thought about your future in these terms and taken steps to achieve your goals. 

Handling difficult situations: Employers of some organisations ask applicants questions intended to assess their ability to handle difficult situations or crises. You should try to figure out what the most popular type of problem is for workers in the position you’re applying for and come up with a thoughtful answer. 

Some interview question examples

  • What career would you undertake if you had complete freedom to do so?
  • Why are you interested in working for our company?
  • Why do you want to be a ***** in the first place?
  • How do you handle high-stress situations? Prepare yourself to offer an example.
  • Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? How did you deal with it? What was the result?
  • What are your most notable accomplishments to date?
  • What goals did you set for yourself at the start of your career or studies?
  • Have you succeeded in achieving your goals?
  • What about this job position appeals to you the most/least?
  • Give an example of your personality. 
  • Give an example of a situation in which you have ***** (as mentioned earlier, this is the style of questioning used in behavioural interviewing, so have relevant examples at the ready.)
  • What kind of remuneration are you seeking? (Be sure to do your homework first.)

The following tips may help to answer some of their questions

  • Review your background information on the business and the job.
  • Make a list of the essential characteristics you’ll need.
  • Make a list of examples from recent positions that illustrate your proficiency in each of these main characteristics. 
  • The STAR method (Situation – Task – Action – Result) will assist you in accomplishing this:

Situation: Describe a situation in which you found yourself. One of my co-workers, for example, was having trouble with his results.

TaskTell them what you’ve agreed to do. For instance, I met with a colleague to discuss how I could assist.

Action: Describe what you did in. For instance, I demonstrated to my colleague how I enhanced my performance.

Result: Tell them what happened as a result of what you did. For example, my colleague’s performance has significantly improved.

  • Please make sure you’re comfortable with these examples by practising them.

 

'Are there any questions you have for us?'

Your interviewer will typically ask if you have any follow-up questions near the end of the interview. When you ask questions, be confident and use them to your advantage.

Here are some examples:

  • Why is there a vacancy in this position?
  • Will I be provided with any onboarding or training?
  • What opportunities do you have for personal and professional growth?
  • What are the company’s long-term goals?
  • When do you think I would expect to hear from you? 
  • What are the skills and characteristics that good people in your business usually possess?
  • What is it about working at this organisation that you enjoy the most?
  • What are the predicted outcomes from me?
  • What particular issues do you want to address in the first six months?
  • Which method of communication do you prefer?
  • What are the department’s or team’s objectives? 

The interview is now over

Smile and thank the people involved for their time after your interview. Although job offers and decisions are generally taken after the interview(s), if an offer of employment is made at the end of any interview you attend, ask if they will confirm the offer in writing. Requesting a day or two to consider the offer before officially accepting it is also reasonable.

Posted at 4:08pm on Tuesday the 20th of April, 2021.

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