Despite the high demand for talent, today’s job market is very competitive so it’s important to make sure that you perform well at an interview.

Confidence is a huge factor in interviews. It can be a pretty daunting experience, so you should really try and work with your recruiter to get to know and understand the company culture.

You probably won’t get that sort of information from the company website, but a good recruiter will have insight that they can share with you. Make sure you use them afterall, our job as recruiters is to help people get a new job.

But have you ever thought that a recruiting manager doesn’t really want to be recruiting? Have you ever considered that they want the ideal person to be doing the job in question so that they can carry on with other aspects of their role?

Most prospective employers know whether an individual can do the job they are recruiting for by looking at a CV or from the technical screening. The interview takes place so that the interviewer can discuss a little more about what you’ve written in your CV and, more importantly, to talk to you about your goals are in general; What you would like to do? How you can fit into the team? etc. Prospective employers would love to find the right person for their organization after a couple of interviews rather than ‘wade’ through hours and hours of meetings.  Their time, like yours, is valuable.

Be confident in your ability. Conduct yourself as you usually would in your professional life. Remember, a successful interview is not just the hour that you spend in that room, it’s the first step in the next stage of your career…so why not try and enjoy it?

Despite the frosty or formal approach that some interviewers adopt as their preferred style, the reality is that they WANT to like you. If you genuinely believe that you are the person for the job, then just be yourself.

Below are some tips that you may find useful to take into your next interview:-

–          If an interviewer starts asking difficult questions it may be to see how you perform under pressure, so don’t get defensive or aggressive.

–          Avoid any unnecessary apologies.

–          The purpose of the interview is to present your skills, ability and suitability, so make sure you bring them up. If, by the end of the meeting, you haven’t managed to, take the opportunity to go through it with them.

–          If you are asked to describe your strengths, do so, this is an opportunity to sell yourself, but be aware not to appear arrogant.

–          If you are asked to describe any weaknesses,  there are several different ways you can answer, including mentioning skills that aren’t critical for the job, skills you have improved on, and turning a negative into a positive. This is not the time to reveal the photocopier incident at the last staff party!

–          Expect to be asked to describe your current responsibilities. Be ready to tell the interviewer the following:

  • What you enjoyed about each job
  • What you think your achievements are
  • What experience you gained & how that has helped you
  • What technical skills you acquired

–          Avoid just yes and no answers. Most questions the interviewer asks will be intended to get you talking. Try to use examples.

–          Never stray from the point, or talk for more than a couple of minutes at a time, but do give comprehensive answers. Be concise.

–          Never openly criticize your current or previous employers. Always talk positively about your experiences.

I’m always interested to hear other techniques or preparation suggestions that anyone else can offer so please feel free to share them.

Good luck.