Recruitment specialists since 1980

Friday Jun 3

Some helpful hints on successful practice before, during and after an interview

Congratulations! Your CV has been reviewed, the employer thinks you have potential, and has asked you in for an interview! That’s the first hurdle out of the way. Now the preparation begins for the position that could be yours, with the right groundwork. Where to start? Below are some of Woodland’s top tips for successful practice before, during and after an interview!

 

1)     Research the company

Preparation is paramount towards a more relaxed and comfortable demeanor during the interview process. Failure to research your potential employer thoroughly will reflect in your body language. No matter how much you try to sugarcoat it, your answers will portray a lack of research. Woodland always recommends candidates to study the job role, as well as the company’s website at a bare minimum to assist them in the interview.  It is very easy to find out a great deal of information about a company. The internet grants us access to a variety of information channels such as financial reports or company blogs. In doing so, candidates can tailor their experience to the workings of the company, and the specific duties that the job denotes.

2)     Present yourself appropriately

As cliche as the phrase is, first impressions are everything. For most businesses, dressing smartly is standard practice, so you must think carefully about how you look. In some cases, certain companies are more relaxed on their stance towards dress code, but when unsure, you cannot go wrong with a business suit in order to create a professional first impression. Recent research has suggested that a candidate makes their impressions within the first eight seconds of an interview. Interviewers spend the rest of the interview time confirming or changing these initial thoughts.

3)     Planning ahead

With regards to the logistics around the interview, allow plenty of time to make sure your clothes, a copy of your CV (as well as any other documentation you have been asked to bring) and directions to the interview are ready well ahead of time to avoid any delays.

4)     Practice interview

Ask a family member or friend to run through a mock interview with you. Arm them with some sample questions to ask you, and ensure your practice eye contact. Some employers often turn to behavioural interviewing which involves asking some incisive and probing questions. With a little preparation in this respect, you will feel more self-assured for the interview. 

 

During the Interview

 

5)     Body Language

A firm handshake and a smile go a long way in formulating an initial impression upon meeting your interviewer for the first time. Carrying on from this, your body language once sat down for the interview is important. Come across confident and relaxed. Woodland strongly suggests looking keen by sitting up straight, leaning forward slightly and keeping good eye contact with the interviewer or panel. If you look disinterested, don’t expect to secure the job.

6)     Take a notepad

You will probably be taking a lot of information in during the interview, but taking notes creates the impression that you are paying full attention. A top tip for candidates who want to come across as conscientious.

7)     Gear up for The “What’s your weakness?” Question

The million pound question that people stumble on when asked is what their weaknesses are. Woodland recommends not to go with the response most do, which is “I am too much of a perfectionist”. Interviewers have heard that answer all too much, and with a lack of originality it won’t set you apart from the chasing pack. Others will give an honest answer, but will highlight their weakness only, without strengthening their answer. The best way to proceed with your answer is to substantiate it with the methods you use to overcome your weakness.

8)     Ask questions

To show you are keen about the position, always come prepared with some questions to ask. Ask questions, whilst at the same time conveying something about you. E.g. don’t say: What is the best performing department of your company? Instead, say, “According to your quarterly report, your profit increased by 20%. Was this as a result of a well performing department in the company?” A killer question, if you are bold enough to ask right at the end of your interview would be something along the lines of: “Have I given you any reason to doubt that I am right for this position?” It may take some guts to ask this, but it is a sure-fire way for you to clear anything doubts an employer may have, and could get you the position you could have otherwise lost.

9)     End on a positive note

When you are nearing the end of an interview, think of a nice positive line to conclude the interview with. E.g. “Thank you so much for your time today, look forward to hearing from you.”  Furthermore, drop your interviewer a brief email of gratitude. Even if you don’t get the position, it opens up dialogue, and in the near future, you might get an email for a new available position!

 

Good luck with your interview, on behalf of all the team at Woodland!

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