5 Top Tips For Your Next Interview
- 1. Arrive early, but not to early.
While it is always great to be on-time for an interview, sometimes, it can harm the interview process to arrive too early. Should you arrive, 45 minutes early for instance, this can put pressure on the interviewers who would prefer to not leave you waiting.
Our advice is to find the interview location with plenty of time to spare and locate somewhere closeby to relax and prepare before the interview. Arrive at the location perhaps 5 – 10 minutes beforehand.
- 2. Maintain eye contact
While this next tip explains itself, it can be quite difficult to measure how much eye contact to maintain during your interview and this is a skill that you will develop with experience once you are aware of it.
Looking directly at your interviewer while discussing your career history or achievements provides validity to what you are saying and shows you are confident enough about your skills and experience to speak in a clear and engaging way. Looking away while speaking often gives the impression that you are nervous and uncomfortable discussing this. To add to this, too much eye contact can also be uncomfortable for the interviewer so be self-aware of this during your interviews.
During panel interviews (one or more interviewer), one of the main points of negative feedback is often that not enough eye contact was given to the various members of the panel so try to provide enough eye contact to each interviewer where possible for maximum success.
- 3. Know your CV inside-out
Often, a good interviewer will have read and researched your CV beforehand and have some questions for you as a result. For this reason, among others it is very important to know and be able to recall points from your CV when probed.
This is the main source of information about you so it is important to be clear and accurate with the information provided. If you haven’t interviewed in a while, it is good practice to get familiar with your CV again ahead of interviews.
- 4. Speak about your experience from back to front
It is very important to keep the interviewer engaged and listening to every word you say. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case but a quick tip can help resolve this.
Most of the time, you have been called to an interview based on your most recent experience. A pro-tip is to start discussing your career from the start (Education/first job etc.) and work towards your most recent experience which is where the most interest may be. You should summarize your early experience and go into more detail for the more relevant experience.
This will keep the interviewer engaged, while showing how far you’ve come in your career to date. It also gives you a chance to highlight some skills you may have picked up along the way that may be beneficial for the role you are interviewing for!
While it is not a negative to discuss your most recent roles first, you do run the risk of losing some engagement from the interviewers as you go on to discuss less relevant roles earlier in your career.
- 5 Don’t forget to ask questions
Possibly, the worst mistake you can make pre-interview besides not researching the role or company beforehand, is to not have questions prepared. While it may seem at the time you don’t want to take up any more of the interviewer’s time, little do you know, they are waiting and hoping you will ask some questions!
Asking questions shows that you are interested in the role and while it is important to stay away from asking about pay and holidays during the interview, try to focus on questions that are more tailored to the role itself. Go into the interview with at least 5 questions prepared to ask at the end as some can be answered during the course of the interview often leaving you stuck without something to ask!
This blog is part of a weekly series of content focusing on finding the right role, interview preparation, interview best-practice and how to know your worth among other topics.