Let’s admit it, we all hate job interviews. For many of the population, there can be a feeling of dread that goes hand-in-hand with excitement at the thought of starting a new chapter.
What if you were to learn that it doesn’t have to be that way? The key to any job interview is preparation, we all know that. But what does that mean in practice? Our delivery team interview day in, day out. So we asked them to compile their tips, ones that will help you ace any job interview. Whether you’re looking for a job in product, engineering, marketing, the list goes on - we’ve got you.
1. Body Language.
Make good eye contact where it is appropriate to do so and be aware of your body language/gestures you make.
Maintaining “open body language” like having uncrossed arms and legs, or using hand gestures to illustrate your points can demonstrate your passion and interest in the interview (and by extension, the role).
Similarly, maintaining an appropriate tone of voice is important. After all, sometimes it isn't about what you say as much as it is about how you say it. This doesn’t mean you have to overcomplicate it, just try your best to leave the nerves at the door and approach the interview in a warm and friendly manner.
Please note: you do not have to disclose any disabilities to your interviewer, however, if you require accommodations or feel that your body language or tone of voice may be misunderstood as a result of your disability it may be beneficial to you to notify your interviewer and ask them to take it into consideration.
2. Be Yourself.
Say it with me, “we love personality!”. You’re not a robot and while your technical skills matter, so does your ability to be culturally additive.
You can still connect to your interviewer on a human level whilst coming across as professional. It is important to use common sense, but be open - let us know about what you like to do outside of work and what hiring you specifically will bring to the team and wider business.
Try to show them your best self, a true version of yourself. Never feel like you need to overcompensate and don’t overpromise on things that you know you won’t be able to deliver on should you be successful in getting the role.
Also, try not to dwell on any negatives - you wan’t to keep the overall tone of the interview quite positive and hopeful.
3. Come Prepared.
Show passion and enthusiasm for the industry!
Do your research on the industry and be prepared to answer questions around why you want a career in that particular company, industry and role. It might be helpful to research commonly asked interview questions (specific to your role and/or industry) and prepare some answers or examples for them.
Prepare some “selling points” of why you’d be a great fit for this role too. Don’t feel too attached to your prepared answers though, maintain flexibility where needed. One of the worst mistakes interviewees often make is to answer a question that wasn’t asked because they are so keen to use their prepared answers. (Yes… we have all been there!)
It might also be useful to prepare explanations for any skills gaps you may have. For example “I don’t know HTML, but I have mastered other coding languages very quickly in the past and with the foundation I have got, I should be able to learn it very quickly.”
You should also bring a copy of your own resume/cv to the interview so that you can reference it where necessary.
4. Use the STAR Technique.
Practice the STAR model – this is a structural framework that will help you answer interview questions clearly and concisely. Take your time when thinking of how to structure your answers, using examples to back yourself up.
What STAR stands for:
Situation - the situation you had to deal with
Task - the task you were given to do
Action - the action you took
Result - what happened as a result of your action and what you learned from the experience
You can use the STAR technique in your CV, cover letters and application forms as well as in interviews.
5. Ask questions.
Ask relevant questions at the end of the interview. These you can absolutely prepare ahead of time!
Think of questions that show you have done your research about the company, and questions that reflect what is important to you e.g – progression, company’s plan for the future.
Try not to ask questions that are very general (and should be already known to you through your research). Instead, try to make questions specific and meaningful.
Some examples of questions:
- What does success look like in this role?
- What do the opportunities for training and progression look like within the role/company?
- What are the most important skills I need in order to be really successful in this position?
- What types of skills is the team missing that you’re looking to fill with a new hire?
These are just a starting point… industry and role specific questions are even better. Don’t be afraid to get creative.
6. Keep in Touch.
Send a thank you email shortly after the interview as it shows you’re keen to join the company. This is your last chance to leave a good impression on the hiring manager!
If in doubt, we’ve written a few template examples here.
Searching for a job can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be scary. At Talent Point, we embed within incredible, high-growth businesses that want to hire you, for you - not just what you can bring in terms of your technical skill set. Never forget that!
Don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn for more industry insights - we’re here to help!