We read an interesting article this week from Recruitment International on how the modesty of British jobseekers might be hindering their ability to sell themselves at interview, with research showing that 92 per cent of UK jobseekers aren’t confident talking about themselves in a job interview, you can see the article here.
There is a wealth of information online and many articles to help you prepare for an interview but here are some of #TeamDJ’s top tips on how to improve your interview performance:
Practice – makes perfect. Even if you have not had the opportunity to attend an external interview for some time, you can still practice. Think about what interview questions you are likely to be asked, there are some examples of some general interview questions here and practice your responses. Read the job description and look at your career history objectively against this. Highlight your areas of achievements and strengths but also identify any potential weaknesses so you can overcome any reservations, or concerns.
Research – look for company reports, press releases and articles to see what the company are saying and doing. Seek out client or competitor sites to understand the organisations position in the market and identify future opportunities or threats. Even if you are not a social media advocate yourself, searching Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin can offer a wealth of information on what is being said about the company, how they engage with their customers, or clients and who they hire. From this research, you can develop some well thought out questions of your own, as well as identifying challenges and opportunities you may have faced in your career which might be relevant to this company or requirement.
Opportunity – there is much to be said about first impressions; being smartly dressed, making eye contact, a firm handshake and a smile will get you off to a great start but remember this is your opportunity to shine. Even if it seems you are becoming a professional interviewer who is yet to secure that next job offer from your efforts, you need to make sure that in each and every interview you are positive and enthusiastic and able to give the very best account of yourself. Being passionate about what you do and what you have done can make all the difference, we often see the candidate who showed the most passion or enthusiasm hired over those who may have had a better skill set.
Help – don’t be afraid to ask for help in honing your interviewing technique. If you are working with a recruiter then you should already be receiving information and advice on the strength of your application, the areas you need to focus on and be receiving valuable insight and details regarding the company, requirement and interviewers but what about friends, family, ex-colleagues, or respected peers? These people will be able to offer insight on how you come across in your personal or business life. Asking for feedback on what they think of your interactions, or communication skills generally, will help you see where improvements can be made. This will enhance not only your interview technique but your personal and business life as well.
Relax – try to enjoy it. An interview will be over in a few hours. Nerves are good and may actually help improve your performance so try and embrace them and breathe. Your dream job might just be around the corner!
The good news is that confidence can be learnt so with a little bit of extra commitment and effort everyone can improve their interview performance. If you are interested in learning more on building your self-confidence, there is a useful article and website here.
What have been your experiences of interviews and what do you think holds us back from selling ourselves? We are interested to hear your thoughts and comments, feel free to post them here or get in touch:
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