Congratulations! You have been offered an interview. Now what?
Being offered an interview may be marked with feelings of relief, excitement and nerves. Although the best way to truly practice interviews is to do them in a real world setting, there are things you can do ahead of time to help you improve your interview performance!
1. Know your Application Intimately
You might be saying, well ‘duh’. You would be surprised though how many times candidates slip up because they have forgotten what they had written in their original application (which may have been submitted weeks ago!). Read through all your application documents and have a very clear idea about how you align with the job.
2. Know your Interviewer/s
You may have been sent some standard information via email about the interview including dates, time and location. What about your interviewers? If you have not been informed as to who is interviewing you, contact the H.R representative or contact listed for the job application process and ask. Yes, ask. There are many things which interview applicants are entitled to ask about the upcoming interview and often candidates don’t realise they can.
Once you have found out who is interviewing you, you can get a better sense of whether the interview is a panel interview. Panel interview dynamics are somewhat different to an interview with a single interviewer. Again, this information can help you prepare. As a way of preparing, think about how your eye contact and body language may differ between a panel and a standard interview.
As another way of preparing, research your interviewer/s. Who are they in the company? Where had they worked previously? What prior roles hadthey held in the company? Find out as much information as you can about them by looking up their Linked In profiles. Knowing who is interviewing you can help you better understand their agenda and may provide information you can connect with (e.g., if you notice they like the same footy team as you or they follow the same charity causes as you).
3. Have a Strong set of Questions to ask the Interviewer/s
Candidates don’t often realise that when interviewers ask them if they have any questions that is in itself an interview question. Yep. You heard me. You MUST have questions to ask, otherwise even a strong interview performance can be unravelled by a lack of questions from the candidate. Think about it this way, what does it tell the interviewer if you have nothing to ask? You can’t possibly know everything there is to know about the job and company, so why are you not asking some hard hitting questions? Very simply, a lack of questioning can show a lack of preparation and disinterest.
Your line of questioning provides a really valuable opportunity for you to gather as much vital information about the role, team and broader organisation to help with your decision-making. Ask about things which you are not clear about based on the information in the job ad, company website or the information provided in the interview. Think about what you really care about knowing. What would help you decide to take the job if you were offered it? Or better yet, what would help you choose between two potential job offers for an identical role at different companies? Having said this, this is not your chance to ask about pay. Pay related questions are best left till later.
Not only can you really show engagement and a connection with the role through your questions, but you can also sell yourself as the best possible candidate and highlight any unique elements.
If you would like to improve your interview performance by speaking with a career psychologist in Sydney, contact Career Focus to unlock your true interview potential!