Job interviews can be very difficult and nerve-wracking situations, and not just for the interviewee. Whether you’re attending or holding the interview, here are some crucial tips for those on both sides of the table.
Tips for Success for Interviewees
- Make the best first impression with punctuality and preparation. Be on time (actually, be early!) and do as much preparation and research as possible – this demonstrates interest and enthusiasm for the new opportunity
- Engage with the company and with the role. In preparing for an interview, many candidates simply read the ‘About Us’ page on the company’s website – that is not enough preparatory research to impress at the interview. You need to picture yourself already in the role to get a strong idea of the company’s ethos and the ways you could excel in the role. This can be difficult until you actually start working there, but more extensive research will help you to ask insightful questions of your interviewer and demonstrate a great deal of preparation.
- Remember that you have nothing to lose. You don’t have the job to start with, so you’ve everything to gain – bearing this in mind will help you banish pre-interview nerves and be more relaxed and confident.
- Adopt a helpful attitude. The company is recruiting, so they obviously have a need – if you can show that you fill that need, you’re more likely to get the job. A candidate who is enthusiastic, helpful and obviously a hard worker can often be more likely to rise to challenges and exceed expectations than someone who can do the job with their eyes closed.
- Take follow-up steps. Analyse your performance to help you in future interviews by making a note of what went well and what didn’t, ask the interviewer for feedback and make improvements based on your findings.
Tips for the Interviewer
Hiring managers may be interested in reading a more comprehensive article regarding interview tips for hiring managers. If you’re an experienced pro and just need a bit of a recap, below are a few basic essentials to make your interview run smoothly.
- Set goals. Make a list of everything you really need to know, from whether the candidate’s skills and experience match the role to what they’re passionate about, how they will be best managed and how they will fit into the existing team.
- Review the application in advance. Take at least a few minutes before the interview (if not longer) to familiarise yourself with the candidate’s CV, making a note of anything you want to ask about.
- Build up a rapport. Carefully pre-prepared answers from a nervous candidate won’t tell you anything about the real person, who may end up working for you. You need to get them to relax and open up – do this by creating a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and building up a rapport.
- Make sure you know what are and aren’t allowed to ask. To avoid a blunder, which could cause a legal or HR nightmare, do your research beforehand.
- Be a good and active listener. You’ll get the most out of the interview if you are understanding, easy to talk to and listen to candidates’ answers in full.