We’ve interviewed many candidates and processed plenty of client feedback over the years which means we’re in a great position to tell you exactly how to perfect your interview technique.

We all know that job interviews can be nerve-wracking. As well as being faced with the pressure of trying to secure a new role, it’s scary being put under the spotlight and trying to answer questions on the spot.

While some of us manage to get through interviews relatively unscathed, for others, they can cause serious stress and anxiety. The good news is that we’ve interviewed many candidates and processed plenty of client feedback over the years which means we’re in a great position to tell you exactly how to perfect your interview technique.

Prepare

We cannot emphasise the importance of preparing for your interview enough. Researching the company and the job outline is a crucial part of helping both you and the employer to determine whether you’re the right professional and cultural fit. 47% of interviewers say they wouldn’t offer a candidate the job if they had little knowledge of the company.

Knowing what’s on your CV and the job spec also allows you to show how you’re qualified for the job. The more informed you are, the easier it will be to handle questions and pitch your qualifications. Crucially, being prepared will also help you to feel confident walking into that interview room and know some of the likely questions that will arise during the interview.

Get into the zone

Athletes often comment that despite preparation, if on the day you’re not in the zone, the race is often lost. Interviews are exactly the same, you can prepare as much as you like but if you show up on the day and you’re not in the zone, the preparation is unlikely to pay off.

A confident and positive mental attitude is the most defining attribute that will separate the winners from losers. It sounds obvious but a job interview really is the time to make a good impression. Over a third (33%) of hiring managers say they make their mind up about a candidate within the first 90 seconds. In addition, don’t just assume the interview starts when you get into the interview room. Rather work on the basis you’re being interviewed from the very moment you step into the building. Increasingly, the client will often ask the receptionist/security what they felt about a candidate.

Think about what you’re saying, how you’re saying it and how you’re presenting yourself. It’s a good idea to ask someone who you know and trust to practice your interview technique with you so they can give you some honest feedback on how you’re coming across. Better still, work with a coach who will prepare you in the best possible way for how to deal and act in an interview and the likely questions that will arise.

Points to consider include:

  • Dress smartly – even if it’s a casual company remember it’s a job interview and you should always be well presented
  • Make a good first impression – be friendly and shake your interviewer’s hand firmly in a meaningful fashion rather than what is often termed as a “limp lettuce”. It may seem like a minor thing but an incredible 50% of employers say not smiling is a good enough reason not to consider a candidate
  • Be confident – this can be very hard when you’re nervous but try to remember to practice good body language. 20% of interviewers said they’ve written off a candidate because they sat with their arms crossed and 65% haven’t given the job to a candidate who failed to make eye contact. The more natural and relaxed you are in an interview, the more the interviewer can establish if you’re going to be the right team and cultural fit.

Remember to listen

While part of an interview is about selling yourself, it’s also about understanding what problem the recruiting manager is trying to solve and this is about listening.This is also an opportunity for you to establish whether it’s the right role and organisation for you. Taking your time to listen to the interviewer will also give you time to frame appropriate responses and give the best possible answer.

Here at Alpha we offer some fantastic career coaching services which can help you to secure your dream job. Our job seeker support courses can help with CV writing, job searches, applications, interview practice and much more. We also provide interview technique training which covers everything from body language to tackling difficult questions. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to find out more.