In the majority of organizations an interview will be the single most important step in securing a job. Even a great resume and cover letter can only get you so far, and odds are if you bomb the interview that’s where your journey will end.
At PAYFORT we’re constantly looking for opportunities to help you grow your career, that’s why this week we’ve pulled together our top 8 interview tips. While nothing is a sure thing, if you follow this advice you’re sure to make a good impression.
Always do your research
You might have the skills to do the job but do you know how the company operates? Before you go into your interview make sure you check the ‘About Us’ link on the company website and read their mission statement.
Taking the time to learn about who the competition are and how you align with the company’s values will give you great talking points throughout the interview.
Get there on time
Unless you have a very good (and we mean VERY good) excuse, avoid showing up late at all costs. Arriving late to your interview will immediately cast doubt about your professionalism and can undermine even the best application.
When you have an interview don’t leave things to chance, know where you’ll be interviewing and pick a café or restaurant nearby. Arrive a few minutes and use that time for some last minute practice.
Smart casual may be the current trend, but when it comes to interviews professional attire is almost always expected. An interviewer will never fault you for dressing up, but if you show up in jeans and a T-shirt they may not be that forgiving.
Be confident and avoid fidgeting with unnecessary props
Confidence matters everywhere in business but particularly in any interview setting; if you don’t look like you deserve the job, you won’t get it. Eye contact, good posture, a cheerful demeanour and a firm handshake will carry you a long way in an interview.
Also, be sure to avoid fidgeting or playing with props during the interview. This includes mobile phones, nail files, pens or pencils and chewing gum. All this behaviour makes you seem nervous and distracted two things you don’t want to be in an interview.
Provide clear answers and avoid rambling
Always take the time to think before you answer questions and be conscious of what you are saying. You want to try your best to avoid awkward pauses in conversation as they can make you seem unsure or even confused.
Speak clearly throughout the interview and if the interviewer asks you to repeat, be prepared to increase the volume for the remainder of the interview.
Never speak negatively about your current (or past) employer
This one may seem obvious but you’d be amazed by how many people forget that it is never (NEVER) appropriate to complain or bad mouth employers in an interview. No matter how difficult or incompetent they maybe, badmouthing in an interview will only reflect poorly on one person and that’s you.
Be prepared to ask the right questions
Every employer wants to know you’re serious about the job and your interview will be the best chance you get to demonstrate that you are. Having a few simple questions prepared will demonstrate your interest in the company and the questions you ask will often be what the interviewer remembers.
Don’t talk about money or time off
This point is often misunderstood to mean ‘don’t negotiate your salary’ but that is certainly not what is meant. In general, unless you have an offer in front of you it’s often considered inappropriate to talk about your salary or future holidays.
These topics disrupt the flow of the interview and it is very rare that the interviewer will have that information prepared for a first interview. Try to focus on getting that offer; there will be plenty of time to negotiate after you’ve secured the job.
Have you had any interesting interview experiences? Is there a piece of advice we left out? Be sure to share your thoughts with us in the comments below and if you aren’t already, follow us on twitter for the latest PAYFORT news!