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Job Interview Tips for 2022: The Interview (Part 2)

Now that you’re prepared with our basic and advanced interview preparation tips, you should be all set to take on the interview. 

(Note: If you haven’t read Part 1 of this series, we recommend starting there and coming back once you’ve done the initial interview research.)

The interview is where you get to put your best foot forward and stand out from the competition. Your application and CV will get you in the door, but your interview is what secures you the position. Our successful interview tips will explain how to best show off your expertise and experience, create a great first impression and use your meticulous research skills to outshine your competitors and land that dream job.

Dress to impress

This idea is in any Top Interview Tip blog worth its salt - and for good reason. Making a great first impression is important in interviews and dressing well is part of this impression. There is no set uniform for interviews but good sense and professionalism are the order of the day. Dress smart casual unless you’re interviewing for a role where a suit or formal attire is required.

You should also ensure that you look neat and presentable. It’s the little things that can make you stand out in a crowd, so leave nothing to chance.

Taking on the interview

Now you look the part, it’s time to move on to some of our top job interview tips, questions, and answers.

Interview styles can vary greatly, but essentially all interviewers are out to assess two key areas; 

1. Suitability for the job against technical competency and cultural fit – based on either current or future potential.

2. The value you will add to the business.

To make sure you tick all the boxes you’ll need two key skills: highlighting your abilities and telling the interviewer about your value. Highlighting your abilities is the easier of the two as you can reference your CV, speak about past experiences, and use some of that research from the previous section to show off.

The second part is trickier. A lot of people have difficulty talking about themselves. Too little info and the interviewer doesn’t get to know you. Too much, and you might lose your audience. You don’t need to go into great detail, just a quick tour of your CV and experiences. You can also afford to show a bit of your passion. If you are jazzed about the work you do or the industry, don’t be afraid to let the interviewer know where your interests lie.

One caveat for all of the above is that you keep it relevant. Passion and confidence are great but they can come across as arrogant or misplaced when irrelevant to the question asked. These successful interview tips are at the core of everything we tell our candidates and are a large part of what makes our placement rate so consistent.

Be Yourself

With all of the above successful interview tips and answers, it can be easy to fall into rehearsed lines. Try not to do this, as it can come across as insincere. Instead, pre-empt the behaviours and technical skills that may be measured, and have scenarios in mind that you can talk about.

Try to make the interview a conversation. Ask questions, push back on the interviewer, create discussion points. You'll give a more natural account of yourself, whilst creating the opportunity to discuss key points that are relevant to the role and business.

Nonverbal communication is key

It’s not just what you say but how you say it that can help win a second interview. The majority of communication is nonverbal. This fact, pioneered by Albert Mehrabian’s 55/38/7 formula, found that 55% of communication is nonverbal, 38% vocal, and 7% the words you use. Being conscious of how you present yourself can change another person’s impression of you.

Conveying confidence is critical, and your nonverbal communication can play a big part in this. Try to be conscious of your posture; stand up straight, make eye contact when communicating, and project your voice. A good firm handshake also won’t go amiss. 

And perhaps more importantly than all of these, try to relax. Interviews don’t need to be awkward or difficult. Not only do you have the experience, but you also have our support and job interview tips to help you. Go into the interview with a goal in mind and be ready to meet new people, they may well be your colleagues in the near future. 

Ask questions

This interview tip is where you can set yourself apart. Asking questions allows you to show you are proactive and engaged with the role in question. Avoid asking ‘housekeeping’ questions around working hours, payment, etc. You’ll have an opportunity to ask these at a later stage via your recruiter or in a follow-up email.

Instead, focus on asking insightful and well-thought-out questions to show you’ve researched the business, understand its intricacies, and demonstrate where you can add value. This has the added benefit of giving you a space to ‘interview the interviewer’ and get the honest insight you wouldn’t normally get. Remember, an interview is a 2-way process, and asking open-ended insightful questions is essential.

Interviewing in the digital age

Finally, with the past few years of lockdowns and remote working, you may find your interview conducted over Skype, Google Hangouts, or another service. To help with interviewing in the digital age we have a checklist of interview preparation tips to ensure technical issues don’t derail your interview:

Accept the appointment invite - This lets the interviewer know the email has been received. Most video conferencing software automatically sends a confirmation email too so everyone is aware of who is and isn’t attending.

Test your tech - Technology loves to make fools of us and often fails at crucial times. Try to avoid any hiccups by testing all your equipment. Make sure your video conferencing app or software is up to date, your camera and microphone are in working order, and your internet connection is stable. A quick test on Ookla speed test or similar will show you your line speed and how stable it is. 

Create a space - Working from home has plenty of challenges. For your interview; put the pets, children, partners, etc. in another room!  The same goes for objects in your background - try to remove anything that may be too eye-catching. A space with no distractions will make your interview better for you and the interviewer.

Be professional - Dress professionally and act professionally. You may be at home but it is still a formal business meeting.

Take advantage - Being at home has its benefits; use post-it notes, a second monitor, whatever you have available to jot down important information or questions. This gives you something to reference if there’s a lull and keeps the conversation flowing.

When it comes to non-verbal communication in online interviews, the same rules apply, just in a slightly different way. Sit up straight in your chair, make eye contact with your webcam, and test your mic volume to make sure you are heard clearly.  (Pro tip: To simulate eye contact in a video call, move the window of your interviewer to the top of your screen, so that they are as close to your webcam as possible. This way, when you instinctively make eye contact with their video, you will be looking closer to the webcam.)

Be prepared for tech hiccups. In the event of a connection delay between you and your interviewer, you may end up accidentally talking over each other. Take a second to address this and let them know that it isn’t intentional. You may even find a chance to spin it into a relatable event - if they have conducted a lot of interviews online, chances are they have their own experience of this and will understand. 

We hope you found these top job interview tips helpful. Remember to check out Part 1 for some insightful interview preparation tips if you haven’t done so already.

If you need a hand with your job search, get in touch. Sometimes the search for a new role can feel like a full-time job in itself. This is where the help of a recruitment agency can make the difference to keep you motivated, on track, and provide the job hunting tips you need to succeed. 

Distinct Recruitment is in your corner - we’ll do all of the leg work to save you time scouring job boards, rewriting cover letters, or emails.

We’ll get to know you, your skills, and your aspirations so that we can get to work finding a role that’s perfect for you and your goals. Contact our recruiters in Nottingham or Milton Keynes today to kickstart your job search.

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