Like many of us who’ve been through the interview process dozens of times during our careers, you probably think that you’ve got your interview technique down to a T. But it might surprise you to hear that there’s always something you can do to enhance your interview skills and make yourself the top candidate that companies are willing to fight over.
Check out our top three tips to improve your interview technique and get ready to wow at your next interview.
Job description cheat sheet
All job advertisements come with a job description where employers set out all of the skills, experience and characteristics you’ll need to succeed in the role. As well as acting as a kind of company ‘wish list’, you can use this job description to your advantage as a cheat sheet.
Use this document as a guide to where you need to focus your preparation efforts. It’s almost certain that the interview questions will centre around the job description, so take a look at each part individually and ready yourself with examples and stories of when and how you undertook this task successfully.
Do Your Homework
The most important thing to remember about any interview is that the employer isn’t just interested in your skills and what you bring to the table in terms of experience – they’re also looking for clues to how well you’ll fit into their business.
Therefore, its important that you don’t turn up without taking the time to get an insight into the values and culture of the company. Try and find their company mission statement or information on their values on their website and try to align them with your own before the big day.
The better prepared you are and the more you know, then the more likely you are to find synergy between their motivations for existing and your own. However, if you’re really struggling to do this then it might be time to consider if this is the right role for you. I’m not saying cancel the interview, just ask more questions on the subject when you get there to make sure.
As well as being an excellent way of building up your professional network, connecting with current employees to get the lowdown on what it’s really like to work for a company shows that you’ve really gone the extra mile to do your research.
It’s also really helpful to have an insider fill you in as some of the information you’ll get won’t be readily available anywhere else.
Using one of the professional networking sites, target a current employee in a similar role to the one you’re interviewing for and introduce yourself. Tell them why you’ve contacted them, remembering to tell them that you have an interview coming up and politely ask if they’d be willing to share their experiences with you.
Ask if they’d be willing to chat on the phone or over a cup of coffee before bombarding them with questions. If they are receptive, start off softly with general questions on how they got started with the organisation and if they enjoy their working environment. If they’re willing to impart with this information you could ask what they think it takes to be successful but never – and I mean never – ask for personal information regarding salary, perks or holidays.
Asking for information like this isn’t just rude, but it’s sure to find its way back to the interviewer eventually.
I hope you’ve found these interview technique tips useful, but if you’re still hungry for more ways to get noticed at interview contact us or subscribe to our blog.