Having the skills, experience and personality for a role is just as important as showing these at interview. Read on to find out how you can maximise and demonstrate your unique qualities.
1. Prepare for the meeting. We’re not just talking about doing your homework about the role and company you’re being interviewed for, but anticipating tricky interview questions such as ‘what is your weak spot?”. By rehearsing your game plan pre-interview (why not practice in front of friends?), your interview performance will be much enhanced and you’re less likely to be floored by killer questions designed to trip you up.
2. Think of yourself as a brand – how are you going to position yourself? With so much competition for each post, how you define and project yourself, skills, dress and personality, is all important. Interviewers are more likely to remember the ‘troubleshooter with a demonstrable track record in communications success’ or the ‘team player who has increased profitability by X% over a two year period’ than the person who is unsure of what their successes actually are.
3. Talk about your input and your results, rather than hiding behind the smokescreen of ‘we’.
4. Be specific and have details/examples to hand. What are you proud of? What have you achieved? How have you contributed? Interviewers love facts, figures and statistics so they can be confident they’ve hired someone who’ll positively influence the wider company’s profitablity and bottom line.
5. Remember that there is a balance between modesty and being overly confident. You’re being interviewed for cultural fit, being part of a wider team and organisation, not world domination.
6. Be genuine. If you don’t know the answer to something, say so, perhaps turning a negative into a positive by saying “I don’t have the experience to answer that question but what I do know is….”. Honesty is always the best policy no matter how great your acting ability.
7. Be aware that social media is desired – even if you don’t do it, make sure you understand it.
8. Be mindful. An hour is usually allocated for a meeting. Refrain from telling them your life story. Instead, be succinct, to the point and use that hour to your best advantage. If you don’t, someone else will…
9. Have questions prepared – there is always something you can ask. What are the company plans for the future? What is the office culture like?. Questions are a good way of demonstrating a real interest in the business. Remember, you’re interviewing them / the company almost as much as they are interviewing you.
10. Be aware of the skills that employers are interested in now, such as new business, emerging trends or markets or digital skills. If you’re not sure of what they are - do your homework!