Securing a new job, or your first, is challenging. It can be a task just to secure an opportunity to speak to the hiring manager, and when you do speak to them, you need to give the right impression. To get ahead of other applicants for the position you want, here are some job interview tips for you. Many of these tips involve using a padfolio, a useful tool for keeping notes and reminders while you’re in a stressful situation.
1. Research The Industry And Company
The first thing you need to do is to search online for everything you can about the industry and the company. The more you find out, the more prepared you are for potential questions from an interviewer who wants to know how much you understand the industry. Simple questions like ‘why do you want to work with us’ can be answered with a little knowledge of the company’s history.
All the research can be entered into your padfolio, this can be taken to the interview so you can demonstrate you’ve researched the company.
2. Prepare Questions For The Interviewer
Sometimes it isn’t how you answer the questions that the interviewer has given you, but the questions you ask that are important. Don’t just come up with all the basic questions that your interviewer might expect such as holidays, pay and progression. Ask the interviewer some interesting questions that show you’ve got a passion for getting that role. Some suggestions are:
- Asking how the company is prepared to cope with specific changes to the industry.
- How the interviewer got into their current role (if applicable).
- How the interviewer thinks your career might progress.
And never forget to ask if the interviewer has any concerns about your application. This is your chance to alleviate fears and remove obstacles blocking your chances.
3. Create A List Of Achievements In Your Padfolio
One question often asked is what makes you suitable for the position. Don’t be generic in your response and say you’re hard working, always on time, or discuss other meaningless aspects. After all, anyone can say this and you’re not differentiating yourself from the other applicants. Instead, you need to be specific and show your worth to the potential employer.
To achieve this, you need to try and demonstrate your worth with past examples. This is something that should’ve be done in the past, but if you’ve got an interview coming up, then you can start this now. What you need to do is write down examples of your achievements in your padfolio. Then when this question is asked at the interview, you can open up your padfolio to provide the statistics, actions you’ve taken and the results.
Having the details listed in your padfolio allows you to remember all the important details. It also shows that you aren’t making up the results on the spot. Plus you can add photos, documents and other information for evidence of what you’ve achieved.
In addition, you can provide several examples that cover different scenarios and skills you want to bring to the interviewer’s attention. This strengthens your claims and it allows you to demonstrate different traits in your interview.
4. Write Down Interview Instructions
Another key aspect that prevents potential candidates from securing roles is being unprepared for the interview. This can include getting lost on the way to the interview location, forgetting who’s interviewing you, and forgetting equipment or documentation required for the interview. If you write these down, then you can refer to them when you’re stressed and likely to forget them.
In addition, you can write down important locations that are on the way to the interview. For instance, gas stations, places to eat, etc.. This can save you time when you’re on the way to, or from, the interview.
5. Practice, Practice, Practice
The key to success in an interview is practicing lots. You need to practice with your friends, family and the mirror in the bathroom. Try to polish your responses so you’re using less delaying tactics (like ‘um’ and ‘err’). If you need to buy yourself some time in the interview, there are a couple of lines that you can use that sound more professional:
- “I’m glad you’ve asked that question.”
- “That is a good question.”
These simple lines can buy you time to think of an answer or find the evidence in your padfolio. You should also practice finding important information and evidence within your padfolio.
6. Make The First Five Minutes Count
Studies have shown that interviewers can make a decision about the hiring potential of the candidate within the first five minutes of the interview. The rest of the interview is spent confirming the decision. So make those first five minutes count. Enter the room with energy and enthusiasm. And remember to show your appreciation of the interviewer’s time.
Another great idea is to start with a positive comment about the company. Use lines like:
- I’ve been really looking forward to this meeting (don’t use interview).
- I think [company’s name] is doing great in [the industry/name a specific project].
You should also make sure that you sit down after being invited to by the interviewer.
7. Be Assertive
Don’t be passive during any job interview. Being polite doesn’t mean that you’re passive. You can be assertive in your interview without coming across as aggressive. Tell the interviewer exactly why you should be hired and make sure that you’re mentioning your positive accolades. In addition, open your padfolio with your achievements page open to show that you’ve got a lot to contribute to the interview.
Final Word: The Top Seven Job Interview Tips
If you’re going for a job interview soon, you will want it to be a success. There are many ways that you can be sure you’ve got a chance. But the only way to be sure of success is by proving there is no other candidate with your skills, attitude or experience. In an interview situation, it can be easy for you to forget certain aspects of your application. Which is why you might need to have a padfolio to help you succeed in an interview.
Do you have any job interview tips? Share them below.