Top tips to creating a great impression at interviews
What recruiters look for
The person (or people) you’re meeting want to look beyond the accomplishments and skills to get an insight into your ability to perform well under ‘test’ conditions.
Though it seems daunting, this provides the ultimate platform for you to showcase your personality, work ethics and practical skills. But how do you stand out from the rest of the pack?
Don’t curb your enthusiasm – express it
Try to avoid the dreaded rejection call or email from us citing ‘a lack of enthusiasm’ for the job.
Employers want to see enthusiasm in their candidates and only want to hire people eager to do the job, so make sure you clearly express your passion (a cliché, we know) when answering interview questions.
Now is not the time to play it extra cool – but we should also add that doing a Tom Cruise-style chair jump might not yield the desired result, either…
Give the interviewer rich, thoughtful answers
Interviewers ask questions to assess whether you can successfully demonstrate your skills and abilities in a given scenario. This shows whether you can understand the challenges of the role.
A good candidate will take these questions at face value, but a great candidate will identify the subtext of what the interviewer wants to uncover. Show that you’re listening, flesh a little more out of the question (“Am I right in thinking that you’re looking for a particular skill in…?”), then give a suitably thoughtful answer.
Great candidates will think of unique and thoughtful responses to questions posed by the interviewer, so don’t come up with generic answers that interviewers have heard a hundred times before.
The days of convincing a panel that you’re here to “passionately give it a hundred and ten percent”, by sheer force of will, are long behind us.
Let your personality come through, and speak honestly about what you’ve learned and what you’ve enjoyed about particular projects. Be concise and precise.
It’s great to walk into an interview with a five-year plan of your professional goals and what you’ll do, but bear in mind that this can also restrict your opportunities for growth.
Be flexible with a potential employer, as an uncompromising outlook could present little in the way of opportunities with a new role – and could potentially sow the seeds for conflict. The best way to play this is to express your enthusiasm to grow within a position for the company, and to better your own personal and professional skills.
Quantify your value
We’ve talked before about how important data is, and your interviews are no exception. If you have numbers to back up your experience, then this serves all the more advantage of potentially adding value to your employer’s company.
Use whatever examples at your disposal that are relevant, whether it’s money saving strategies or record sales profit margins.
Be comfortable in your own skin
An interview can put even the best people on edge. It’s easier said than done, but it always works better to just be yourself. We talked about being authentic a few points back, but it’s crucial to be genuine, which helps to build rapport and trust with the interviewer. This helps the interviewer visualise you as part of their team.
Keep the conversation flowing
Remember that an interview isn’t a Mastermind round or a power struggle. As any performer or speaker will tell you, the audience (in this case, the interviewer) is on your side. Be friendly and open, and you’ll create an engaging and lasting impression.