How you present yourself at interview can be the difference between you securing your next position and having to seek out another opportunity. When you are up against candidates with equally impressive CVs as your own, you need to make sure you stand out at interview. This is easier said than done as you are under immense pressure and have limited thinking time when answering questions. Here are just a handful of our Dos and Don’ts when interviewing:
DO… be truthful
In a tense interview situation, it is tempting to embellish or exaggerate your achievements to try to say what you believe an interviewer would like to hear. Owning your genuine accomplishments is important, but bending the truth when asked direct questions is not advisable. Naturally, it is important not to lie and to allow the employer to accurately judge how you fit the role, however you do not need to volunteer information that may go against you, such as gaps in your experience.
DO… prepare and plan
Whether planning your journey to the office, familiarising yourself with the company’s recent work or practicing answers to potential interview questions, the benefit of preparing in advance should not be underestimated. Taking some time ahead of an interview to study the job description and summarising your business case to the firm will hold you in good stead for the interview. This will provide discussion points in the interview, demonstrate that your interest in the role is genuine and that you are considering how you can contribute to the company, in addition to how the role can benefit you.
DON’T… undersell your strengths
If you have been invited to interview, the employer is already interested in you and your skills and they believe that you have the potential to benefit them. It is important to demonstrate not only that this interest is reciprocal, but also that you share the belief that you could positively contribute to the company. Prepare to vouch for yourself, discuss your positive attributes and highlight your relevant professional achievements, as well as how you have successfully overcome challenges. It is just as important to recognise your strengths as it is to acknowledge areas for improvement.
DON’T… be afraid of nerves
Experiencing nerves before or during an interview is to be expected but need not be an insurmountable obstacle. Arriving in plenty of time, taking deep breaths and preparing notes in advance can all alleviate pre-interview stress. Taking time to listen carefully to the interviewer and to consider your words carefully before responding will help to ensure that your answers are articulate and concise. Lastly, it is important to smile; this will foster a positive mental attitude and help to diffuse any tension in the room.
You can find a range of interview tips in our resource section here or call our team on 01206 233500 if you want some one-to-one advice on seeking out your next opportunity.