Written by Taylor Satchell Reid
On the job hunt? We’ve got four tick-the-box tips to put you on the front foot. When it comes to a great interview you’ll need to be authentic, adaptable, informed and engaged! Let’s get started...
We’re probably all guilty of putting on our ‘best selves’ for an interview - and it’s not a bad thing. But if we’re not presenting an authentic version of ourselves, how can we know it’s us they want for the job? According to OfficeTeam, three in five employers have turned a candidate away for fibbing on their CV. The main areas for stretching the truth were work experience, qualifications and skills. Realistically, it’s only going to get you caught out. Sure, some skills can be learnt on the job, but if you’re missing a key need, don’t try to cover it up. Be authentically you. People also ‘buy into people’ over paper, so don’t freak out about your peculiar answer to a particular question, or the way you snorted and choked on your drink. If this job is for you, it will be for you - the real you. Otherwise, who else were you planning to be?
Let your body talk
Body language and facial expression - there are whole reams of research that show they’re imperative in making a good impression. However, a fake smile is easily recognisable! In fact, a fake smile is triggered by completely different muscles in the face. We’ve all seen that awkward nodding dog, or Cheshire Cat response to an average joke or underwhelming story. The truth is, humans are always looking for a level of certainty and assurance in an interaction - certainty of how to act, and where the conversation is going. To make your interviewers feel that stability, maintain eye contact, smile when it’s genuine and show engagement when they are speaking.
Do your research
While over 70% of us are supposed to be great at networking and online connection, many of us fail to know anything about the company or people we’re interviewing for. At the very least, research the company or business you’re applying to. Find out which of their products or procedures you most appreciate, and how you could fit in with their ethos. To step it up a level, find out who will be interviewing you. If possible, check out their job title and interests. We’re not suggesting sucking up or producing stalker-like facts, but often the people interviewing you will not be the people working with you directly. They may have higher managerial positions, and how you speak and connect with them will make an impact.
‘What are your strengths and weaknesses?’ is one of the most common interview questions. In order to make the most of the mundane, make your strengths relevant, and your weaknesses irrelevant. Speak honestly about the weaknesses you have in life, but focus on how they can be avoided or overcome in line with the job criteria. Mention what measures you can, or are, taking to work on them. According to Forbes: “57% of hiring managers say millennials can be overconfident in their abilities.” So come with two or three of your honest - but avoidable -weaknesses. An interviewer doesn’t want Miss Perfect, but Miss Adaptable.
Photography : Freepik