Interviews aren’t just a feat of getting to the end of it without doing or saying anything wrong – they are an opportunity to showcase yourself and present yourself as the ideal candidate for the role. While there are lots of things to avoid, don’t get too bogged down in this and concentrate on the things you should be doing. Here are some pointers to ensure you go from doing OK in an interview to excelling in it.
Chances are you’ve already thought and prepared answers for the most common interview questions, which is essential. However, the majority of interviews now include competency questions, where you need to present an example of a time you demonstrated certain skills. These will likely be teamwork, leadership and going above and beyond as well as skills more specific to the actual vacancy. Coming with your answers ready and rehearsed will ensure they roll of the tongue which will impress the interviewer much more. Having to think too much for your answers will suggest you’re not too practised in the essential skills, even if you are. Don’t leave it until the interview to think of your responses.
Demonstrate Your Knowledge
There’s no point researching the company prior to the interview if you don’t make it clear you’ve done this. If you get asked what you know about the company then make sure your response can be detailed and comprehensive. If you don’t get asked, you can demonstrate your knowledge by asking specific questions. For example; rather than ‘Are you looking to expand?’ change this to ‘Are you still planning to open an office in Manchester?’. This shows you’ve been keeping an eye on company movements and taken the time to do your research. Sometimes facts will escape your mind in the context of an interview, so research more information than you’re likely to need to avoid falling short.
People often think that interviews are stiff and strict appointments with no room for anything other than strategic answers and questions. But not showing any of your personality will make it difficult for you to stand out from all the other interviewees. The recruiters are trying to get a feel for who you are as a person, your outlook and the way you approach things as well as your work experience and achievements. So don’t try to disguise this. Show you are self-aware and can identify certain areas where you work best. No one is the complete package, so claiming you are will just make the interviewer see you as less genuine.
Numbers and statistics to demonstrate achievements are gold dust to employers. They help quantify your value as a candidate and allow an actual vision of how you can perform. If you come prepared with statistics of targets that you’ve met, volumes of work produced, turnover made or anything that is appropriate, it will mean a lot more than other candidates that claim to be ‘quite good’ at X, Y and Z.
When it comes to standing out in interviews, being confident and genuine without being braggy is generally the key. Remember to relax, smile and don’t be afraid to be yourself.