Job Interview Tips
At Rayner Personnel, we want to help you to have the best possible interview experience, so we have put together our top tips to help you succeed in your job interview.
It is natural to feel nervous before an interview.
Nerves are not necessarily a bad thing, as they show your potential employer that you care! But if you are too nervous, you are more than likely to rush the interview and forget some key points that would show why you are the right candidate for the job. Remember your interviewer is willing you to succeed and will fully understand your nervousness. Take plenty of deep breaths. This will encourage you to slow down and help you to create a more confident impression.
Speaking clearly and confidently
When you speak you want the interviewer to sit up and take notice of what you say.
If your words are unclear or muddled, your interviewer will lose interest quickly. Take your time over each word and avoid phrases like “you know what I mean”.
Your interviewer will make a judgement about you before you speak, they will note your body language.
Remember, you need to make your first impression count as this is usually the lasting impression. So make a confident entrance! Make sure to look the interviewer in the eye and that your handshake is nice and firm. It is very difficult to project a confident manner if you slouch back in your chair. Sit up nice and straight and slightly lean forward, this will show the interviewer that you are paying attention. If you are being interviewed by a panel, make sure to take the time to look them each in the eye, and avoid staring at any particular individual.
Make an impression
Always know exactly where you are going before you set off for your interview.
If possible, it always helps to do a ‘test run’ before your actual interview date. This way you know how much time to leave before you set off, the route to take and where you can park. It will also make you aware of any possible obstructions you should leave extra time for. Being late for an interview no matter what the reason will always set a negative tone. Also, if you arrive too early please wait and only announce your arrival no more than ten minutes before your appointment time.
Typical interview questions
Each interviewer is different, but we have picked a selection of the more common questions asked at interviews.
Take the time to read through these and think through your answers, as they may come up.
- Why are you looking for a new job?
- What is the reason you left your last job?
- How much do you know about our company? (This is a common question, and a chance to really impress your interviewer. It is vital you spend some time beforehand looking over their company website, familiarising yourself with the company history, achievements, products / services and the role you will be filling).
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Greatest achievement in your current / last job?
- Where do you see your career in the next 5 / 10 years? (Prepare an answer where you can progress through the role you are interviewing for).
- Do you prefer to work alone or in a team environment? (Ensure your answer matches the job requirements, if you are unsure how you will be working in the role, highlight your benefits for working in both environments).
Once in the interview
Planning how you want to conduct yourself in the interview is all part of the preparation.
Organise yourself when you first sit down, take off your coat and place it over the back of the chair, and place your bag or briefcase neatly on the floor by your seat. Take out a pen and paper and have it ready in case you wish to take any notes down.
Listen carefully to each question and make sure you answer it in full. Where they are asking about your skills and experience, try to back it up with examples of where you have applied these previously. If you are unsure what is being asked, request that they repeat the question to make sure you are not going off on a tangent or missing the point entirely. Stay on topic and once you have answered – stop! Don’t be tempted to keep talking to fill any awkward silences. Be clear, confident and concise.
Make sure you engage with the interviewer and you are asking them lots of questions, particularly about the company and the role you are being interviewed for. Showing a keen interest in the company will greatly impress them.
How to close your interview
When asked if you have any questions, try to have 5-10 questions you would like answered in the interview written down on your notepad and tick them off as they are answered, this way it shows preparation and willingness, but will also mean you should have questions left over for the end of the interview.
Some examples of some questions you could ask are;
- How would you describe the company culture?
- What is your favourite thing about working here?
- What are the team like who you would be working with?
- How will your performance be evaluated?
- What is the probation period for the role?
- Are there progression opportunities within the role?
Once the interview is over make sure to leave a lasting impression. Smile once more, shake their hand, remember to make eye contact and to thank the interviewer by name for their time. Later that evening or the next morning, send the interviewer a email to say thank you for their time and that you look forward to hearing from them.
If you have any further questions about your interview, the role you are interviewing for or the company, please contact your Rayner Personnel Recruitment Team who will be more than happy to help answer your questions.