For every person who can be calm as still water and breeze through interviewing conditions at any given time, there are many who fall victim to nerves and struggle to keep their cool. It goes without saying that the right preparation makes all the difference. In this double blog, we’ll cross over the big Interview DO’s, and follow them up with part 2, where we look at things you should definitely avoid doing, before during and after your interview.
So, your CV made it past the algorithms and into the palms of a potential new employer? Great! Now, there’s one golden rule to keep in mind from the minute you get the call to the second you shake your hiring manager’s hand: Prepare, prepare, prepare.
Here are the biggest DOs and DON’Ts of interviewing.
You should have lots of questions about your employment conditions. It’s not enough to simply know the name, department and building you’re heading to- forming a solid idea of your potential workplace shows initiative and drive. Being up to date with the business background, a number of employees in your department and an idea of the clients/service areas, etc will all come together to make a good impression.
DO Be early
Punctuality can’t be faked. Where there are some employers who can see the potential beyond lateness, the majority are conditioned to blacklist the interviewee who runs off schedule or wastes their time. Lateness can also translate as inexperience and naivete. Never expect a second chance when it comes to interviews- even genuine lateness is very difficult to overcome in an interview situation.
DO Prepare your strengths
Rehearse three key spiels you can use that demonstrate your major skills. Small skills can be demonstrated e.g. a preference for punctuality and tidiness- big skills deserve verbal recognition; if you’re comfortable in a leadership role, an insatiable analyst or a creatively driven mind, give short examples of these and be prepared to back yourself up with evidence!
DO Admit it when you just don’t know an answer
The last place you want to be in an interview is in the middle of a sentence you can’t finish. Don’t know the answer? Say so, straight up! Being able to admit you can’t answer a question is a skill, not a weakness. Sometimes, an interviewer may ask you a question that is particularly difficult to answer, to see if you’ll cope with not knowing. Work is about learning sometimes too: demonstrate that you can cope with not having an answer where it counts and show a willingness to learn when the opportunity arises.
Feeling confident in an interview doesn’t mean you have to know everything, have an answer for it all and never falter- it just means you need to set standards for yourself and be prepared for the test that an interview can be.
Want to know more? Find out some of the biggest mistakes you can make in an interview setting in the second half of our 2-part blog, where we’ll go over the great DON’Ts of Interviewing.
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