(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 stage is where you get to put your best foot forward and stand out from the competition. Our expert interview tips will help you to best show off your experience, create a great first impression and use your meticulous research skills to outshine your competitors and land that dream job.
Dress to impress
Making a great first impression is important in interviews and dressing neatly can be part of this. Smart casual is often a wise choice, unless you’re interviewing for a role where a specific dress code (such as a suit or formal attire) has been reccomended.
However, this doesn’t mean you should feel limited in your options. Even in formal attire, there can be opportunities to experiment and let your personal style through, which in turn can help you to feel comfortable, confident and stand out from other interviewees.
Taking on the interview
Interview styles can vary greatly, but essentially all interviewers are out to assess two key areas:
- Suitability for the job against technical competency (skills) and cultural fit. This can be based on current and future potential
- The value you will add to the business.
Here, you’ll need to highlight your abilities and demonstrate your value.
Highlighting your abilities is the easier of the two as you can reference your CV, speak about past experiences and discuss your future ambitions. Your research will also aid you in explaining how your goals align with those of the business.
A lot of people find it difficult to talk about themselves. To demonstrate value, a good approach is to insead discuss projects you’ve worked on and results you’ve achieved. If you’re enthusiastic about the work you do or the industry, don’t be afraid to let the interviewer know where your interests lie.
When following interview tips and answers, it can be easy to fall into rehearsed lines. Instead, try to make the interview a conversation. Ask questions, 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.
This conversational approach can also make it easier for you to relax during the interview. Head into the interview with your goal in mind and the perspective that the people you meet may be your colleagues in the near future.
As revealed by Albert Mehrabian’s 55/38/7 formula, 55% of communication is nonverbal, 38% vocal and 7% choice of words.
Conveying confidence is the goal and your nonverbal communication can play a big part in this. Try to be conscious of your posture; stand (or sit) up straight and project your voice. A good firm handshake also won’t go amiss.
Eye contact and neurodivergency
Many articles suggest making eye contact when communicating in interviews, however this can present its own challenges for neurodiverse candidates. If you identify as such, alternative methods may be more helpful (depending on your personal comfort).
These include tips such as focusing on the space between someones eyes, or just above or below them. Nodding or giving short verbal responses can also show that you are engaged and listening to the person speaking, without having to maintain eye contact.
Workplaces are becoming more aware of neurodivergency and many are seeking external advice to better understand and make adjustments for employees. If the expectation around making eye contact is causing you stress during your preparation, raising this with the interviewer before or at the start of the interview can be a good way to break the ice. This can also act as a great example of your ability to communicate under pressure.
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 questions around working hours, payment, etc. These will be specified at a later stage via your recruiter or in a follow-up email.
Instead, focus on asking well-thought-out questions to show you’ve researched the business and understand its intricacies. An interview is a 2-way process: this is your chance to ‘interview the interviewer’ and get an honest insight into the business.
Interviewing in the digital age
In the age of hybrid and remote working, there’s a chance your interview may be conducted over Zoom, Skype, Teams or another video conferencing service.
Read our free checklist of tips to prepare for your online interview.
Work with Distinct
We hope you found these top job interview tips helpful. Remember to read Part 1 for interview preparation tips if you haven’t done so already.
Sometimes the search for a new role can feel like a full-time job in itself. As recruiters, we can match you with opportunities that are most suited to your skillset and ambitions. This can make all the difference in staying motivated, on track and positive in your search. If you’d like a hand with your job search, contact us today.