As we all know, there is no such thing these days as a ‘job for life' and people tend to move their skills to the highest bidder — which means that at an interview your performance needs to be near perfect to ensure that you make an impact.
Obviously, you need the required qualifications to meet the job specification but you also need to stand out above the crowd. You need to make an impact that will be remembered after the interview is over.
As a professional speaker, I talk about the importance of making an impact from the platform to the audience, but this particular presentation can affect your entire future. So you need to make sure you give 110 per cent when being interviewed in order to get the job you want.
Part of this means demonstrating that you are knowledgeable about the business. You must also show that you are a team player who will promote the company or organisation with enthusiasm and commitment and that its focus will be your focus. And finally, you must show that you will offer loyalty and bring integrity to all your responsibilities and duties.
You will almost certainly be in competition with many others so you will need to ensure that you can offer that ‘added value' to their business together with your vision and values matching those of the prospective employer.
Therefore, before you go to any interview, you need to become conversant about all aspects of the company. Make sure you are clear about who they are, what they do, what products or services they offer, where they operate, who they employ, what plans they have for expansion, or retraction, and where they are positioned in their field of industry, commerce or public service. The interviewer needs to be able to see immediately that you know not only who you are, but also who they are.
Prior to the interview, it is important to know what you want. Do you want a job where you are going to make a difference to mankind, a job that is satisfying, a job where you can grow, that is near to your home — or is your interest purely a financial one?
Know your strengths and what you can bring to a prospective employer. There is no one better able to sell ‘you', than you, and selling is exactly what you need to do. But also be aware of your weaknesses.
Of course, we all have these and it is important to be open and honest about them. The fact that you are aware of them is important and how they are presented is everything.
Ask yourself — is this job, going to progress your career? If you see it as integral to your career path, then it is important to know how it is going to take you along that road and you need to keep your vision in mind to see if it is in line with theirs.
First impressions are very important, so choose your clothes wisely. Make sure your footwear is clean and polished, as this says a good deal about you before you even open your mouth.
Arrive at the interview early so that you are not stressed and have time to regain composure after your journey. During the interview, be ready to tell crafted anecdotes that demonstrate your skills and achievements.
Stories pack a punch
Facts are fine but stories are evocative and people remember them far longer than a stream of facts and figures. Always have questions ready for the end of the interview.
So now you are ready for your interview. Walk into the room confidently, with your head held high and don't forget to be friendly and maintain eye contact. Remember interviews are a two-way conversation in which each one learns about the other.
Finally, prepare what you are going to say and practice. These points will hopefully hold you in good stead for you to get that job. Good luck!
The author is a BBC guest-broadcaster and Motivational Speaker. She is CEO of an international stress management and employee wellbeing consultancy based in London. Contact them for proven stress strategies - www.carolespiersgroup.co.uk.
Remember - Helpful tips
- Do your homework to research the organisation
- Interviews are two-way conversations, not an interrogation
- Be confident, knowledgeable and friendly