How to perform well in an interview
You've applied for your perfect digital marketing job. You've been shortlisted and now, all that stands between you and your next chapter is the interview stage. So how do you improve your interview success rate?
- Arrive between 5 and 10 minutes before your meeting. Give yourself enough time to go through whatever sign-in procedures the company might have. Arriving early will also give you a chance to acclimatise to the environment and relax. This will help you to settle your nerves, feel more confident and ready to make a great first impression!
- First impressions go a long way and are formed very quickly, whilst you can recover from a poor start, it's best to create a good one in the first place. Remember people are forming an opinion of you as soon as you walk in the door, everyone you interact with from the receptionist onwards might be forming an opinion, so get in the zone before you walk into the office. Some people find it easy to 'switch on' and get focussed, others find it a little harder but it's essential you have a way of getting yourself into a positive frame of mind.
- When you meet your interviewer, face them, smile, look them in the eye and establish rapport. Saying something positive, perhaps commenting on the nice offices or finding common ground between you and the interviewer is always a really good way of breaking the ice and getting off on the right foot.
- Be open, honest and sincere. An employer wants to get to know you so don't be too defensive and put walls up. The interview should be a meeting of minds and a positive two way process where you are learning more about each other, try not to see the interview as some sort of trial to be endured. Obviously, it's important that you show your best side to a potential employer so focus on your positives and make sure you engage with the interviewer on a personal level and really sell your professional achievements, it's okay to blow your trumpet where you have something to blow it about!
- Listen to the questions you are asked and answer them. If you don't understand a question then say so. If you are naturally succict, make and effort to expand a little bit when giving your answers, if you tend to waffle, try and be more succinct - read the body language and engage your audience. It's okay to ask if your interviewer would like you to expand and answer or shorten it. As you talk, try and give examples where you can and if you can quote numbers, percentages and stats it will really enhance your credibility.
- When you are given the chance to ask questions, ask whatever you like, remember that this is your chance to find out about the company as much as it is their chance to find out about you! You should always have a question or two to hand in a first interview but try not to take too much time with questions - remember there is always much more time to ask questions in a second interview where you can really get into depth. If you can't think of a question, ask the person interviewing you why they chose to join the company - it's always a good way of getting an insight into the organisation you might be joining. If you have enough confidence and you have built rapport, you might even ask the interviewer what they think of you and what their reservations might be.
- At the end of the interview, leave the interviewer with an equally positive last impression as the first.