5 Dos and 5 Don’ts To Ace Your Interview

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The job-hunting process can be long and drawn out. Many people battle their way through CV-writing and application forms, only to fall at the final hurdle. Interviews can be stressful – however, there are some steps you can take to improve your chances of getting the job. Follow these dos and don’ts to find interview success.

Do’s

Be confident

An overly nervous candidate will stick in the interviewer’s mind for all the wrong reasons. If you’re physically shaking and struggling to talk at an interview, how will you cope with pitching ideas to a large team, or meeting with important clients? It’s natural to be a little jittery, but don’t let it ruin your chances of getting the job. If you’re nervous, pretend that you’re not. Take some deep breaths before you go in, smile, and offer a firm handshake. If you’re acting confident, you’ll start to feel confident too.

Do your research

It’s not unknown for interviewers to open with the question ‘tell me what you know about our company’. If you perform poorly on the first question, you’re going to feel stressed and uncomfortable for the whole interview. Research the company thoroughly – check out their website, read any recent news articles about them, and investigate their market and main competitors.  If you know the names of your interviewers, you could even take a look at their profiles on LinkedIn.

Think of questions before you go in

The interviewer will always finish by asking if you have any questions for them. Saying no implies that you’re not interested in the company – and is a sure-fire way to stay unemployed. If you’re worried you won’t be able to remember them, write them down (in a notebook, not on a scrappy bit of paper). Good questions demonstrate either that you’ve researched the company, or are genuinely curious about the role you’ve applied for.

Be polite

It’s important to be polite to everyone you encounter at your interview – from the receptionist to the people you stand next to in the lift. Your interviewer may ask their colleagues what they thought about you – they’re the ones who’ll be working with you, after all. If you’ve made a bad impression on someone, it could harm your chances of getting hired.

Write it down

It may be tempting to walk out of your interview and try to forget about it – particularly if you feel you performed badly. However, it’s important to write down all of the details you can remember, while it’s still fresh in your memory. If you get offered a second interview, you’ll struggle to remember what was discussed – and you don’t want to spend the interview repeating yourself.

Don’ts

Don’t be late

If your interview is in an unfamiliar area, try to do a run-through the day before. If this isn’t possible, give yourself plenty of room for error when setting off. Google maps might say the journey takes half an hour – but that’s without traffic jams and late trains. If there are no delays and you find yourself there early, find a nearby café to wait in. Aim to arrive at the office between ten and fifteen minutes before you’re due to be interviewed.

Don’t lie

Most interviews are based around the information you provided on your CV. Interviewers will pick up on interesting details and grill you about them – if you’ve embellished your credentials, you’re going to find it very difficult to keep the lie going.  Many people ignore this advice – but beware. If you get the job, you’ll have to maintain your lie the whole time you work for the company. If you’ve lied about having a particular skill, it will be evident as soon as you start the job – and your new employer could fire you.

Don’t complain about your last job

Your interviewer might ask you about your previous position – try to be positive, even if you had issues. It’s highly unprofessional to criticise your past employers, and it won’t sit well with your interviewers. Instead, be positive – if you had a conflict with a colleague, explain what you did to overcome it. Demonstrating that you can calmly handle problems in the workplace will impress your interviewers far more than complaining about them.

Don’t sell yourself short

Rather than telling your interviewer that you’re a team player, give them an example of when you’ve worked well as part of a team. Better still, give two – although be sure to keep your answers concise. Some interviewers will encourage you to do this, asking ‘tell me about a time when you…’ questions. However, others will be less forthcoming, meaning that you’ll need to do the work yourself.

Don’t panic

Things often don’t go to plan, no matter how prepared you are. If something does go wrong (you’re late, you give a bad answer to a question, you trip up on your way into the room), there’s no point in panicking about it. It’s already happened and there’s nothing you can do to change it. Take a deep breath, smile, apologise if necessary – and keep going.

 For this post, Doostang thanks our friends at Under30CEO.

Image Credit: www.forbes.com 

 

Job Interview Tips: Avoiding Pre-Interview Stress

job interview stressThe stress and worry that accompanies job interviews can potentially cost some job seekers the position. Oftentimes a person’s nerves take over and prevent them from providing the company with quality answers to their questions. No matter their experience, many interviewees sabotage their chances of having a successful job interview because they over think it, or don’t think about it enough because they are too consumed with worry.

Knowing about an interview weeks ahead of time can be beneficial on one hand, but on the other hand it can be detrimental, depending on the person. This is because interviews are all determined based on how well a person handles pressure. Same thing goes for scheduling a job interview that is only a day or two away. To prevent the unnecessary and destructive anxiety that you feel leading up to your interview, consider these following job interview tips:

Gradually prepare

One of the main reasons for stress is the lack of preparation. Whether it’s because you don’t have enough time to prepare or you procrastinated until it was too late, you are going to feel the pressure of trying to remember everything at the last minute.

In the weeks leading up to your job interview, you should be going over your resume and identifying your strengths that you want to highlight in the interview. You should also go over your experience, memorize what your duties were and prepare for any questions you think they may ask about each. Be ready to explain how your skills were utilized at each position and how you made a difference using them.

Know all you can about the company

One of the most common job interview questions involves what you know about the company and why you would be a great fit. Prepare for this question by spending some of your time researching about the history of the company, as well as their products, services and any accolades they have received.

Also think about how your skill set plays well into who they are. If you’ve had experience working in their industry, make sure that they are aware of that and inform them of any contributions you’ve had that has made previous companies successful. Your ability to clearly communicate this is crucial to your success.

Practice, practice, practice

One of the main issues interviewees often have is that their nerves affect them so much that it shows through their body language. Practicing helps you realize how you look, and may help you to notice everything from your body posture to your nervous eye rolling, etc. A helpful tip when you practice is to videotape yourself and then go watch the recording so that you can pick up on anything that you need to fix. In the end it will make you feel more comfortable and you’ll be able to get used to sitting with the right posture and have complete control of your mannerisms.

Don’t be negative

You should never go into an interview thinking about how much you’re dreading it because it will show through the way you speak. Go to your interview with a positive attitude and you’ll be motivated to do well.

The thought of a job interview should not scare you away from doing your best. Preparation is the key to minimizing your stress, so practice memorizing your skills and conduct dry runs of your interview.

Keep in mind that contacting career professionals for tips and advice about the job hunting process can make a substantial difference in your success.