Countdown to Interview

The time in preparing for your interview is your opportunity to get yourself into the right frame of mind, and set your energy and focus on who you’ll be meeting with, what you want them to remember about you, and what you want to ask them. Here Gavin Connell UL’s Head of Careers gives his top tips for getting the job ! Best of Luck!

You are down to the chosen few! Take confidence in this! The CV and application process is the employer’s opportunity to screen you out, you have just made it past the most difficult hurdle. Employers now see you as a potential fit for their organisation and interviewing you is worth their while.  Check out Amy Cuddy’s Power Pose TEDGlobal 2012. Think about a time in your life that you felt confident and you got what you wanted.

Forensically read the job description to anticipate potential interview questions and also further research the company beyond their website. Prepare for questions you want to avoid. Ask a close friend to be your worst critic while completing a mock interview with you — and videotape it.

Storytelling  – practise your “Tell Me About Yourself” pitch out loud. Think about why your past career experiences have led you to this job. Why should we hire you? Why do you fit this role?

Get comfortable in your interview clothes – particularly shoes! A conservative approach is best. Interviewers will subconsciously judge you before you open your mouth.

Practise your smile, handshake and eye contact. They want you to want the job and be excited at the prospect of working for them, the first step in communicating that enthusiasm is to smile. A weak handshake implies that you are meek or disinterested, but squeeze too hard and you come across as aggressive or overbearing. If you spend the entire interview staring at your shoes, they will assume  that’s how you always communicate. That kind of behaviour doesn’t inspire confidence and makes it more difficult for the hiring manager to engage with you. Be aware of your natural style – does it fit the interview process, also be aware of your energy levels.

Know your interviewers – check Linkedin or your own network to help you understand the interviewer’s background. This will help you build an understanding of career trajectory within this organisation.

Look in a mirror – check your grooming!

Plan your logistics, park a little bit away (you never know who is observing you), you shouldn’t walk into the office building more than 15 minutes early. Turn off your phone. Don’t be thrown if your interview start time is delayed – everybody is busy!

Be friendly to all receptionists and security guards – it’s probable they might be reporting to the hiring manager.

Ensure you have questions for the interviewers – an intelligent question about the company or the industry points to the research you have done. Although you shouldn’t ask a question for the sake of it– saying “I think you have covered all of the questions I had”.

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