Monday, February 1, 2016 - By Mike
5 tips for performing well at interviews
Being called for an interview is often seen as as a nerve wracking experience but actually you should take heart from the fact that the potential employer is interested in your application and wants to discuss it more with you.
So here are 5 tips which can help you achieve the best possible interview: -
(1) Do your homework
I can’t stress the importance of spending time researching the business or company you are having an interview with. Look at their website, look at data about the industry they operate in and, if you know who will be interviewing you, see if they are on LinkedIn. If you spend the time researching, then you can easily and confidently answer the inevitable question: ‘Why do you want to work here?’
(2) Plan your journey
One of the worst things to do on the day of your interview is to turn up late – it won’t put you in a good light and could seriously jeopardise your chances of getting the job. So plan your journey. If you are using public transport, research the timetables and ensure you get a bus or train that gets you there earlier just in case there are delays or cancellations. If you are driving, use Google Maps or a route finder to calculate your journey time. However, make sure you do this during peak times to ensure you get a more accurate journey time. Once again give yourself plenty of time to get there, just in case there are any traffic problems or issues with your car.
(3) Practise your answers
In a separate blog I will write possible questions that you could face and therefore practise.. The key is to practice how you answer questions – try not to waffle or be too brief! My advice for answering interview questions is use a method known as CAR (Circumstance, Action and Result). If you use this method then your answers will be succinct, relevant and more importantly demonstrate your ability to the interviewer. For example, if you are asked the question – ‘Where have you demonstrated the ability to work in a team?’ Then using this method will mean you use a Circumstance/situation where you worked in a team, then you outline what the Action involved and then finish with outlining the Result.
(4) Make a good impression
Within moments of meeting you, the interviewer will have made a judgement about you – so therefore you need to ensure that this initial judgement is a positive one. Firstly, make sure you dress appropriately and look professional. Secondly, make sure you give a firm handshake before and after the interview – no excuse for a limp half hearted one! Thirdly, make sure you have your phone turned off from the moment you enter the building until the point when you leave – at no point should you be checking it, even if you are waiting in the reception area! Remember also – be polite to everyone; you never know, they actually may be asked by the interviewer their thoughts and impression of you. Finally – be enthusiastic, there is nothing more off-putting for an interviewer when they see a candidate looking and acting bored!! Would you give someone a job if they appeared disinterested?
(5) Control your nerves
Nerves can get the better of a lot of people during an interview and often if they aren’t managed then they can affect how you come across to the interviewer. A nervous candidate can often speak much quicker than they normally would or even can be visibly shaking. These issues can obviously cause you problems and it is really important to try to ensure they don’t get the better of you. I have heard many pieces of advice over the years about how to handle nerves in an interview – however, the best pieces of advice to control your nerves is to make sure you plan effectively, get there in good time and practise your breathing techniques.
Focusing on your breathing is one of the best ways to calm your nerves. By taking big deep breaths though your nose and exhaling slowly, you will begin to slow down your heart rate which then begins to calm your nerves.