On average you will have ten jobs in your lifetime before you decide to retire. So in the time between your first job and your last there’s going to be a significant handful of dreaded interviews. People who like interviews are in the minority. Whether you’re a novice and it’s your first interview or an expert and it’s your hopeful last, there’s no denying the process is exhausting. Here at InstaHire we’ve seen it all.
Let us remove the stress and help you prepare with 5 key tips.
1. Dress to impress.
Is it a cliche? Yes. Did you anticipate that this would be the first tip? Maybe. However, it is undeniable that dressing appropriately is a catalyst for making a good first impression. It’s common knowledge that you should wear formal attire, however, the dress code doesn’t stop at this feeble recommendation. The dress to impress mantra comes right down to the nitty gritty. Like what? Presentation. Make sure that outfit is spic and span, whether you’ve just bought it or you’re dusting it off. Always do a scan to ensure that it’s clean, ironed and presentable. You don’t want to portray a less than perfect image.
2. Show up at least 15 minutes beforehand.
Don’t adhere to the traditional ‘5 before rule’. Five minutes is simply not enough time to find the office, go to the bathroom and assess yourself in the mirror. Always arrive 15 minutes before your interview and find the exact location first. Then you can ensure that all your zippers are up and that lippy is perfect before you do the meet and greets. Just like a job, an interview is all about preparation and organisation, fifteen minutes will allow you a breather before you get down to business.
3. Use real life examples (emphasis on the real).
Behavioral competencies are generally a given when it comes to the modern day interview. The odds are high that the interviewer is going to ask you a question about how you handle certain situations. Irrespective of whether you have prepared for the question or not, oftentimes subliminal panic sets in! Worry not, the best way to answer these questions is to draw on real life previous experiences. Take a couple of seconds (and a deep breath, if needed ) and head on a trip down memory lane. Talk about your previous jobs and your previous roles. Discuss how you came up against a variation of these situations and outline how you handled it. If you’re telling the truth, you will come across as well informed and natural and you’re more likely to impress.
4. Have a conversation not an audition.
Revert back to that natural mindset, it’s important to have a conversation. Be prepared not rehearsed. If you sound like you’re reading your answers off a script, it’s going to lose authenticity fast. At all costs try to muster as much interest as possible. When your interviewers are providing you with information about the organisation and the role, make eye contact, nod, smile and ask questions. If you’re confused about an aspect of the role or if you have a specific question about the organisation, sit tight, choose your moment and open a conversation stream.
5. Assert confidence (but not too much).
Confidence is key! But how much is too much? Interviewers often site the reason for not moving forward with a candidate as ‘they were all talk’. Elvis told us and who were we not to listen? Sometimes we really do need to exert ‘a little less conversation and a little more action’. Display your confidence by, once again, retrieving those tangible examples from jobs gone by and using true experiences. Make eye contact, articulate yourself, and smile, but do not act like you have already received the role. Finally, never ever, ever say the following sentences, ‘Honestly, you need me more than I need you’, ‘I have had countless offers so far, so the decision lays in my hands’, or ‘I’m going to be an asset to any company I walk into’.
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