For many people, the start of a new year (new decade in this case!) is a great opportunity to make some positive changes. That’s why we often find the numbers of people looking for a new job can spike during the first months of the year.
And with each new job opportunity comes the dreaded interview. That’s why now seems like the perfect time to share some of our best tips with you so you can nail that interview and soar into 2020 with a brand new job and a renewed spring in your step.
To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail
Interview preparation should begin well in advance of the actual meeting if you want to be able to ‘wow’ when you walk into the room. First read through any paperwork you’ve been sent to make sure that you know exactly what’s expected of you and to find out whether there is anything specific you’re likely to be asked. Companies have different interview practices. Some may ask you to talk generally about the kinds of roles you’ve held in the past. Others may rely on competency-based interview questions, asking you to describe a time when you’ve demonstrated a particular skill or quality. If you’re working with a recruitment agent, they will be able to offer some advice on these types of questions.
Make sure you find out a little about the company you’re applying to as well – it can help to convince an interviewer that you’re serious about the job.
Dress to impress
Have you heard that old saying, ‘dress for the job you want, not the one you’ve already got,’? Nowhere does this hold truer than in an interview situation. Turn up in scruffy jeans and a baggy polo and you’ll likely be discounted before you’ve even entered the room. Of course no one will expect you to invest in a full suit and tie to interview for a job as a driver, but make sure you at least find some non-denim trousers and iron your shirt. First impressions go a long way, and if you don’t look like you take pride in your appearance, how can an interviewer believe that you’ll look after their shiny new lorry with the care they’d expect?
Actions speak louder than words
As with many things in life that involve human interaction, it’s not all about what you say when it comes to an interview situation. An experienced interviewer will derive a lot from your body language too. If you slouch back in the chair chewing gum, for instance, you may not look like you’re serious about the job. Make eye contact when you speak, lean slightly towards the person you’re addressing, avoid crossing your arms and always make sure you offer a firm handshake and a smile.
Consider why you want the role
One of the most common interview questions we come across concerns what motivates you to do the job that’s on offer. And if it’s something that you’ve always liked the idea of from a young age and you’ve had hobbies involving aspects of the role, then great, say all of that.
But we know that sometimes needs must, and you’re forced to apply for a job to tide you over until you’re able to find something more permanent. That’s OK, but probably not the answer your interviewer wants to hear! Instead, think about some positive aspects of the job - whether there might be career progression available, whether it gives you the freedom to work under your own steam or the shift work fits with your family needs. And then say that!
Think before you speak
There is no harm in pausing before you answer interview questions. It can help you compose yourself and provide the best possible answer; don’t be tempted to immediately brain dump everything that comes into your head. And make sure you moderate your language. If you have a tendency for crude jokes and expletives when you’re down the pub, that’s fine, just try not to talk to the interviewer like they’re your ‘mate’ – it doesn’t give the right impression.
At the end of the interview
As the interview draws to a close, make sure you don’t let your guard down until you’ve left the room. Just because the formal questions have ended doesn’t mean the interviewer isn’t continuing to make an assessment about whether they believe you’d fit into the organisation and the job role. Politely thank them for their time and if you have any questions you’d like to ask, take the opportunity to do so.
It may even be a good idea to follow up with the interviewer a few days afterwards and thank them once again for seeing you. You never know, if they’re tossing up between you and another candidate that small act might just sway them.
If you are considering changing your job or looking for a new career in 2020, give us a call on 01291 628888 (Chepstow) or 02920 263365 (Cardiff) or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We won’t just support you through the process and help you find the right opportunities; we’ll give you plenty of support to get you through those pesky interviews too.