It’s finally happened. You’ve secured that interview and you’re now at the crucial stage in your search for a new job. But how are you going to make sure you don’t blow it now?
Here are our tips to help you make sure the job interview goes well. Some of them might surprise you.
We all know the things we should do at an interview; we’ve almost been brought up on them. You should be smartly dressed, ahead of time, on your best (and most natural) behaviour and armed with a good deal of research on the company you’re hoping to join.
You need to be fully aware of what the company does, how they do it and why. Being on the same wavelength as your prospective employer is important. It also means you’ll have some good questions to ask when you get the chance.
The first thing to consider is the day and time. It’s very possible you won’t have a choice, but if there is any leeway at all in the timing, consider these pointers.
It’s easy to get excited and accept the first day and time you’re given. Take a deep breath. Consider how long you need to prepare. It might better to opt for the latest time possible.
Research has shown that the best time for an interview is at 10:30am on a Tuesday. No, really. Tuesdays are by far the most productive days of the week and mid-morning is the most productive time of day.
Mondays and Fridays are often days when people are either gearing up for the week or winding down for the weekend. By the same token, directly before lunch could mean the interviewer is getting hungry and losing concentration; and directly after lunch could mean he or she is dulled through digesting food.
Boiling this down practically, it’s best to ask for an interview mid-morning between Tuesday and Thursday.
While there isn’t an ideal length of time for an interview, you can gauge how
things are going by the amount of time you’re there.
The status of the job, the stage of the interview process you’re at and the nature of the interviewer are all factors that can make an interview longer or shorter.
For you, though, if the interview runs over its allotted time, this is a good sign. If the interview ran short, then there’s a chance the interviewer was going through the motions and looking to get the interview over and done with. Don’t despair, though. There’s every chance that the interviewer is simply efficient and capable of making their mind up quickly.
Connected to the previous point is the attitude of the interviewer. You know you’re prepared, but are they?
If the interviewer is prepared, they’ll ask considered and relevant questions. It’s worth noting that if the interviewer is prepared, the company they work for and the role you are applying for are suitably important.
If the interviewer isn’t prepared, they’ll probably ask you for your questions very shortly into the interview. This could be a sign they’re not interested in you, but it might also mean that they’re not knowledgeable about the role you are applying for.
You can help them and you by giving them examples of what you’ve done in a previous role that would be a big asset in this one.
This is the single most important indicator that your interview is going well.
Are they leaning forward? Are their eyes wide? Are they smiling? Are they nodding? Are they listening to your answers and engaging with them? If your answer to all of these is ‘yes’, then the chances are they’re interested in you.
If they come over as stand-offish, reserved, uninterested or even bored, you can probably figure out that it’s not going too well.
Don’t give up, though. Try answering their questions expansively (without going off-topic) and invite the interviewer to become engaged. If you pick up on their ‘curt’ style, you’re essentially bringing the conversation to an end – whether you mean to or not!
If the interview feels like a stiff Q&A session, your application probably won’t go much further. If, however, it’s a natural conversation with both of asking follow-up questions, this is good. If you feel you’re getting to know each other, then you can’t do any better.
It can be hard to read an interviewer’s face or body language. Remember, these people are very likely to be professionals trained in conducting interviews. They might very well be difficult to read on purpose. Therefore, engaging them, getting them involved in your answers is a good sign.
Using these pointers during an interview can help you guide the interview in your favour. Thinking about them beforehand can get you in the right frame of mind. Considering them after the interview and you’ll have some idea about the how interview has gone. And, if you don’t get this job, it’s all good experience for the next interview.
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