At Nicoll Curtin, we know that a job interview can be a daunting prospect. However, this chance to meet a potential future employer is probably the most important part of the application process – so we’ve put together our own guide to job interview tips to give you a hand in preparing for your interview.
1. Know your CV inside out, and be sure to bring a copy to your interview for reference. This will be particularly impressive to an employer if you have also thoroughly read the job description, as highlighting strengths from your CV that complement the requirements of the role will help you stand out from other candidates.
2. Thoroughly research the company that you have applied to work for, and the area of business or industry that they work in. If possible, even researching the systems and processes they are likely to use can put you at an advantage – and is particularly useful in technological industries. This type of interview preparation is crucially important, and can also help to boost your confidence.
3. When prompted, ask questions of your interviewer. It may be you who is applying for a role, but an interview is usually a two-way process. Prepare some questions beforehand, and don’t be afraid to query anything that arises during the interview. This shows your interviewer that you are enthusiastic, dedicated and interested.
4. Be prepared to answer questions that are not addressed on your CV. Employers recognise that it is easier for interviewees to answer questions relating directly to their CV, and will often attempt to put you out of your comfort zone with a question of a different nature.
5. Employers highly value problem solving skills, so be sure to highlight any experience you’ve had in this area – explaining the issues that you came across and how they were overcome.
6. If applying for a technical role, we recommend thoroughly researching the technical systems used by the company and within the wider industry. Being able to speak confidently about these technical elements not only demonstrates intelligence and enthusiasm, but also an attention to detail that many employers crave.
7. It may sound obvious, but make sure you dress the part. First impressions are hugely important, and corporate environments demand smart business attire at all times. If an employer sees that you don’t make the effort to present yourself professionally, they won’t trust you to be professional in your work.
8. It’s often easier said than done, but don’t be nervous. Maintaining good posture, eye contact, and exuding confidence will impress potential employers, and will put you at an advantage before the interview has even begun. If you are not naturally confident in these situations, preparing for an interview in as much detail as possible can make the difference to your nerves on the big day.
9. It’s another interview tip that may seem obvious, but it’s amazing how often we hear of interviewees forgetting to ensure that their mobile phone is switched off. Future employers need to know you are completely focused on the role, and if your mobile goes off during an interview, it demonstrates a lack of professionalism.
10. If you’re feeling nervous or are worried about your preparation, ask a friend or family member to role play the interview with you beforehand. Even if your fictional interviewer isn’t able to ask industry-specific questions, this process can help you to relax and to anticipate issues that may arise during the actual interview, as well as providing you with more insight into how to answer interview questions.