Job interviews are hardly anyone’s favourite hobby. They can be boring, nerve wrecking and challenging to say the least. However, with the right attitude job interviews can be a creative and highly rewarding process. The following ideas and strategies are guaranteed to help you succeed at job interviews and make the career changes you desire.
1. Find the problem – You are being interviewed because the prospective employer has ongoing or potential problems that need to be solved on a regular basis. Consequently, your job interview success depends on how well you prove your problem-solving capabilities. Find out more about your prospective employer’s wants and needs by conducting vigorous research. For instance you can carry out internet searches, speak to relevant staff, read company literature and browse through press archives.
2. Find the solution – Anyone can identify problems but it takes a winning candidate to create helpful solutions. Whilst preparing for your job interview, seek a thorough understanding of your prospective employer’s wants and needs then brainstorm for ideas and strategies that can satisfy those wants and needs. The more solutions you can proffer, the more capable you will appear. However, try not to give away too many valuable ideas at the interview stage. Just say enough to demonstrate your expertise and generate some positive interest.
3. Fire your desire – During the job interview, your interviewers will want to know if you genuinely want the job so don’t hamper your chances by exhibiting nonchalant behaviour. Whilst preparing for the interview, fire your desire by repeatedly visualising yourself in the new role. Remember that, sooner or later, you will attract whatever you choose to focus your attention on. Be sure to maintain high levels of confidence whilst keeping your feet firmly on the ground. If you carry out your due diligence and remain persistent, you will succeed at job interviews and make the career changes you desire.
4. Get inside knowledge – It’s important to find out, beforehand, what format the job interview is going to take. Will you be asked behavioural and situational questions for instance? Will you be required to take psychological tests or make a special presentation? The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be. It also helps to find out basic information about your prospective interviewers. How many people will be interviewing you on the day? What are their names? What age group do they belong to? What are their roles within the company? The fewer surprises you encounter at the interview, the more confident you’ll feel. Contact prospective employers, recruitment agents and other reliable persons for insider information then adjust your responses to suit your interviewers’ preferred style.
5. Get help – People sometimes struggle with job interview preparation because they try to do everything by themselves. But why bear the burden yourself when you can easily get others to help you? For instance, you can get close relatives to practice likely questions and answers with you or pay the neighbourhood whiz kid to do some research on your behalf. If you are one of those people who can’t figure out what ‘smart casual’ really means, get a fashionable friend to help you choose what to wear on the big day. If your morale is low, ask your nearest and dearest for encouragement and support. Remember that even the most unlikely people can offer unique perspectives and nuggets of wisdom too.
6. Do your best – It is true that you can only do your best, but aim to make your best good enough. Speak clearly and confidently at the job interview whilst maintaining your natural style. For instance, if you are a slow talker don’t try to speak quickly just because you want to sound keen on the job and if you are the serious sort don’t try to be overtly humorous either. Maintain eye contact with your interviewers throughout the interview as this will make you come across as honest, confident and intelligent. Just be your best self and you’ll make a positive impact at the job interview.
7. Follow up – Never leave the interview room without a contact name and direct telephone number you can use for follow up purposes. However, make sure you find out how long you should wait before soliciting job interview feedback. It is wise to send a thank you note a few days after the final interview and to ring for information within agreed time scales. If more follow up is required do so no more than twice per week, contacting the key decision makers (usually the interviewers) directly where possible. Do exhibit polite and professional behaviour at all times.
Well prepared candidates usually do well at job interviews. Remember the afore mentioned ideas and strategies and you too can edge out the competition, get the job of your dreams and enjoy true career fulfilment.