Everyone hates that first interview. You walk in seemingly calm and composed, but the reality is your heart is racing and you have no idea what to expect. So, we thought we’d ask the Real Response team how they prepare for a job interview.
One suggestion was to start your own company so you don’t have to go through any more (thanks boss!), but if you don’t have that luxury, here are some top tips for nailing that all-important job interview.
Do your homework
Knowledge is power, so make sure you have researched not just the company where you’re interviewing, but the industry and competitors within it. You will have to make some fairly generic assumptions at this early stage, but most companies don’t mind that. They won’t expect you to know everything when you walk through the door, but they do appreciate – and in most cases expect you to have made – the effort. It’s also a good idea to do some research on the person who will be interviewing you as this will help you to connect with them during the interview.
Silence can be golden
Don’t always assume that silence is a bad thing. Your interviewer could be considering your last answer or working out how best to word their next question. Interviews are very much a two-way street and the interviewer may be just as nervous as the interviewee.
Dress to impress
First impressions are everything. Make sure that your outfit is professional, clean and pressed, and don’t forget about the little things: ensure hair is combed, nails are tidy and shoes are shined. Looking smart will also help to give you confidence and improve your body language.
There is a tendency to treat first interviews like a first date, but remember this isn’t Tinder. The people you meet are looking for someone who can actually do the job and the more you exaggerate, the more likely you are to get caught out later on in the process. You have been invited for a reason, so be proud of what you can do and be honest about your skill set.
Finally, stay calm
It’s easier said than done, but it’s essential to stay calm. Taking deep breaths, drinking plenty of water and repeating some positive affirmations are all great ways to settle pre-interview nervous. In the words of the late Douglas Adams, “Don’t Panic”.
Golden rule: Remember, you’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you. Prepare some questions to ask during your job interview, for example ‘How do you see the role evolving?’, ‘What are the company’s goals for this year?’ and ‘How would you measure the success of this role?’