15 Words to Help You Ace Your Interview
The excitement of an impending interview can be overwhelming.
Your imagination overflows with thoughts of what might be – to the extent that you forget that you need to pass a series of interviews before your dream can become a reality.
Then you come back down to earth.
“Ah, yes, I’ll be competing against other applicants. How do I go about making the most of the meeting with my potential future boss?”
If you have a spare 50 minutes, put the episode of your latest series on pause and read the definitive interview guide. If you only have five minutes right now, the following fifteen words should give you some food for thought.
You owe it to yourself to go into an interview with your eyes, heart, and mind open. What do each of these words mean to you? How will you go about smashing your interview?
Graduates won’t have had much experience, so it is important to do the prep work.
We have split the interview process into three stages: before, during and after.
Before the interview
Introspection. What do you really (really) want out of your next job? Only apply to roles that make you feel excited. Work out what makes you happy at work.
Research. When you have a job interview in the diary, do everything you can to find out about the job, company, and your future boss. Social media is a goldmine of information.
Practice. Getting those job interview neural pathways firing before you walk into the interview room is critical for eventual success. Talk through your answers in advance.
Planning. It might seem insignificant, but planning your journey ahead of time, packing your bag the night before and charging your devices in advance could make all the difference.
Appearance. Looking like you are “one of the team” is the best way to make a positive impression. Dress on the side of smart, get a haircut and dry-clean your outfit.
During the interview
Rapport. If you don’t develop a rapport with the hiring manager, you won’t get the job. This isn’t something that should be forced, but you do have to make every effort to connect.
Curiosity. In a two-way interview, curiosity reveals potential professional and cultural fit. Seek nuanced answers to searching questions. Let the interviewer imagine you in the role.
Knowledge. Make sure that you showcase your relevant knowledge within your early career stories. The interviewer can’t read your mind – be explicit when you outline your value.
Body language. Facial expressions and body language account for up to 70% of all communication. Be aware of eye contact, cultivate a warm demeanor and be relaxed.
Brevity. Keep your anecdotes concise and avoid rambling tangents. Take the time to think before answering – that helps to focus your thoughts. One minute is often enough.
Calm. Keeping your emotions in check and not putting too much pressure on yourself is key to giving a considered interview answer. Breathe, observe what is going on and be present.
Authenticity. If you pretend to be someone else, the job won’t be for you. Your interviewer will sense if something feels inauthentic. Be yourself, everybody else is taken.
After the interview
Appraisal. Wait a few hours until after the interview to work out your thoughts. Consider what you might have done differently. If unsuccessful, use it as a learning experience.
Feedback. If the employer wants to take things further, they will be interested in your feedback. Think carefully about how honest you wish to be. Share constructive thoughts.
Negotiations. If it gets to the point that you are negotiating your package, well done! Do market research and stick to your guns on what matters. Trade off what doesn’t matter.
Hopefully, you have several interviews lined up. Try not to make assumptions about each role before you attend – prepare for each one equally and go in with an open mind. You never know what may follow an intriguing interview – job descriptions can change and unforeseen opportunities can materialize. Believe in yourself and sell your story with pride.
Above all, try to maintain an optimistic attitude during the entire process. It is easy to give in to negative thoughts and sink into depression when you haven’t got a job, so this is easier said than done. Optimism will allow for maximum honesty and authentic confidence – two essential ingredients in any successful job search.
Graduates will experience their fair share of rejection before that find that perfect first job. Use each rejection as a learning experience and adjust your interview approach accordingly.
There are many other words in addition to the fifteen listed. Make a list of the words that matter to you. Then build your interview campaign around them.