Our Top Tips For A Successful Job Interview
So, you’ve found the job that’s right for you, you’ve applied, and now you have to go to an interview…
This is a scenario most people will find themselves in, and one of our aims is to ensure that our students leave Weston College with the qualifications that employers look for as well as the soft skills such as interview techniques that will put them ahead of the rest when applying for a job.
We have plenty of experience when it comes to employment. Weston College itself is one of the largest employers in the region, which means we’re well versed when it comes to providing interview advice and guidance.
Here are our top tips for interview candidates…
Find out about the employer
The more you know about an employer, the closer you will be to understanding the company’s ethos and skills requirements. You’ll have a better understanding about what the business expects than other candidates. Doing background research into a company also shows that you like to be prepared and are willing to put effort into your work. Knowing about the employer may also come in handy during the interview.
Think about the questions you’re likely to be asked
It’s impossible to tell for sure what questions you’ll be asked at an interview, however some questions are more likely to come up than others. At your interview you’ll be asked some specific questions about the job as well as some more generic ones. Click here to find out the frequently asked interview questions and how to answer them.
If the job you are being interviewed for requires certain skills or qualities, think about the key points that make you the ideal candidate.
Dress to impress
First impressions count, and it’s always good practice to dress professionally when attending a job interview. Not every interview requires a suit – a general rule is to think about the dress code that the workplace has and aim to dress one level higher.
For example: if the dress code is casual, go one step higher and wear smart casual such as a shirt and tie.
Arrive on time and come prepared
There is no better way to spoil your chances at getting a job than arriving to the interview late. Arriving early means you can benefit from getting a feel of the organisation and will give you some time to calm down and mentally prepare for the interview.
Make sure you bring some extra copies of your CV, a pad of paper, and a couple of pens just in case you want to take notes. If you have one to hand, a portfolio of your work could also put you ahead of the other candidates.
The first impression is often the most important
You only get one chance to make a first impression, but studies show that the first impression is often the most important. When going to a job interview, try to be as polite as possible to everyone you meet, regardless of their job.
When you meet the interviewer, shake their hand, smile and make eye contact.
Give concise answers
Pay attention to the questions being asked and your communication style, and try to give concise answers. When you enter the interview, you should already have an idea of the more general questions they might ask and how to answer them. Click here to find out about the most common generic questions and how to construct your answer.
You should also have thought about the key points that will put you ahead of the competition. Try to refer back to these points in your answers and aim to mention all of them.
Think about your body language
80% of how we communicate is non-verbal, and body language plays a huge part in how we come across during an interview. Although you may be nervous, try not to fidget or sit in an awkward position.
Smiling, making eye contact, and nodding when listening to the interviewer are an effective way to use body language to your benefit.
Thank the interview panel
This is common courtesy, but interview candidates often forget about this simple and effective way to end the interview.
Just like first impressions, the impression you make as you leave has a lasting impression on the interviewers.
Want more advice and guidance?
If you’re a Weston College student you can contact the ASPECT team for more helpful careers guidance.
If you’re not currently a student, the College has a variety of courses to teach you how to succeed at an interview.