Speak the right body language.
Dress appropriately, make eye contact, give a firm handshake, have good posture, speak clearly, and don’t wear lots of perfume or aftershave! You want the interviewer paying attention to your job qualifications.
Research the industry and company.
An interviewer may ask how you about their company, who their competitors are and what sets them apart from everybody else.
Know your “selling points” and the reasons you want the job.
Have an example of each point prepared (“I have good communication skills. For example, I persuaded an entire group to …”). And be prepared to tell the interviewer why you want that job – including what interests you about it, what rewards it offers that you find valuable, and what abilities it requires that you possess. If an interviewer doesn’t think you’re interested in the job, they won’t give you an offer – no matter how good you are!
Practice, practice, practice.
It’s one thing to come prepared with a mental answer to a question like, “Why should we hire you?” It’s another challenge entirely to say it out loud confidently and convincingly. The first time you try it, you’ll sound garbled and confused, no matter how clear your thoughts are in your mind! Do it another 10 times, and you’ll sound a lot smoother and more articulate.
No one likes a complainer, so don’t dwell on negative experiences during an interview. Even if the interviewer asks you point-blank, “What courses have you liked least?” or “What did you like least about that previous job?” don’t answer it as it’s been asked. Instead, say something like, “Well, actually I’ve found something about all of my classes that I’ve liked.
Bring a copy of your C.V. to every interview.
Have a copy of your C.V. with you when you go to every interview. If the interviewer has misplaced their copy, you’ll save a lot of time (and embarrassment on the interviewer’s part) if you can just pull your extra copy out and hand it over.
Be ready for “behaviour-based” questions”.
One of the most common interview styles today is to ask people to describe experiences they have had that demonstrate behaviours that the company thinks are important for a position. You might be asked to talk about a time when you made an unpopular decision, displayed a high level of persistence, or decided under time pressure and with limited information.
Have some questions for the interviewer.
Come to the interview with some intelligent questions for the interviewer that demonstrate your knowledge of the company as well as your serious intent. Interviewers always ask if you have any questions, and no matter what, you should have one or two ready. A good all-purpose question is, “If you could design the ideal candidate for this position from the ground up, what would he or she be like?”
Close on a positive note.
If a salesperson came to you and demonstrated their product, then thanked you for your time and walked out the door, what did they do wrong? they didn’t ask you to buy it! If you get to the end of an interview and think you’d like that job, ask for it! Tell the interviewer that you’d really, really like the job – that you were excited about it before the interview and are even more excited now, and that you’re convinced you’d like to work there.
If you aren’t yourself, then the interviewer won’t get a true idea of whether you are a good cultural fit for the team and company. Take steps to relax and get into a positive mentality before the interview. If not, you may find yourself overcome with negative thoughts and interview nerves, which can get in the way of you being yourself.
In short, your interview personality should not be a far cry from your true self. The objective is to embrace the personality traits which you can bring to this opportunity, and make sure that these come across professionally in the interview room.
Go get ’em!