5 Interview tips to outshine your competition

Interview Tips

Gaining interview experience generally happens over time. However you can find useful interview tips from your friends, family and google. For me I have had the pleasure of sitting both sides of the table so have some valuable advice to give.

Here are my five interview tips to outshine your competition.

First Impressions

This is hugely important, someone can make a decision about you before you even open your mouth and get a chance to speak.  For me I always get rid of my beard in favor of a close shave so make sure you have an adequate 3- Blade shaver.  You want to look like you are organised in the mornings and have left enough time to work on your appearance.

Complete the sharp clean look with a well fitting suit, shirt and tie. Not to mention a new pair of shoes – as they say they tell you a lot about someone from what they have on their feet. Go for that last minute hair cut.  Finally check yourself in the mirror before setting off.

Once you have your looks sorted, you want to make sure you leave with a enough time so your not rushed and flustered.  Arrive at least five minutes prior to the interview.  Also I would suggest not longer than 15 minutes as there might not be somewhere for you to wait. When you initially meet the interviewers ensure you give a firm handshake and make adequate eye contact.

Research

When I interview potential candidates I like to see how much they know about the company. I will ask relevant questions which will be easy for them to answer if they came prepared. When you conduct your research visit the companies website and make a short list of key facts which you can easily memorise.

Social Media

Social Media

This can be a very useful tool prior to your interview but it works both ways. On one hand you can do some additional research on your potential interviewers, but they may well be checking on your social media footprint. Make sure you have a good and relevant social media past. Clear out those old drunken posts and pictures (if you have any!), lock down your account tight and you should pass the initial checks.

Interview Questions

Some of the most basic questions asked at interview can leave you floundering. So prior to any interview have you answers well rehearsed.  For me the number one question to get a feel if someone is really interested in being at the interview is to ask about their strengths and weaknesses. This one basic question can tell your potential employer a lot about you as an individual.  If you answer none for weaknesses you can appear arrogant, likewise you have to be careful not to overshare and end up with a big cross by your name.

Engage

Ensure when you are talking you are engaging the interviewers rather than dominating the discussion. Make sure you give ample chance for responses and reply in a timely manner. Watch for cues in the room so you respond appropriately.  It is really important to keep your motivation and stay on track during the interview process. If you leave awkward silences there is real risk that you will be marked poorly, the same can occur if you  are domineering in your approach.

Relax and keep a steady pace and the interview should fly by comfortably and effectively.

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