8 top tips for interview success
You know how the story goes. You’ve turned up for an interview with absolutely no clue who you’re meeting, what the company does, or even what your potential job role might include. You manage to stumble through the interview by giving vague answers and telling the interviewer that you’re a great team player, and by the end of the interview, you think you’ve got away with it: the job is in the bag.
But you’re wrong. Interviewers can spot an unprepared interviewee a mile away – and although they might not give any clues away throughout the interview, they’re on to you.
Really though, interviews shouldn’t be like that. By following these eight top tips, you’ll be an interview pro in no time.
Tip 1: Do your research
You’ve already done the first step and applied for the job, so really you should already know what the company does, what they sell, who they sell to and what your main responsibilities might be. Realistically, you had to know all of that in the first place to know that the job is the right match for you. But now you’ve got to the interview stage, do a little extra. Find out who will be interviewing you, what their background is, and what makes the company tick.
Tip 2: Don’t be late
This is probably one of the biggest interview faux pas. I hate being late anyway (the team always jokes with me about my super early habits all the time!), so for someone I’m interviewing to turn up late is an instant red cross against his or her name. Ten minutes early is plenty.
Tip 3: Dress the part
Deciding what to wear to an interview is one of the biggest decisions to make. My advice here is to dress how you would to turn up to a client meeting; a three-piece suit isn’t necessary but being presentable is a definite must.
Tip 4: Ask intelligent questions
How many people work in the office? Which industry is the majority of your client base in? What is the best PR campaign you’ve been involved with? How are the teams structured? These are all examples of smart, engaging questions that will keep the conversation flowing and show that you have a genuine interest in both the company and the job.
Tip 5: Avoid the clichés
“I’m a great team player”
“I’m keen to try something new”
“I’m the ideal employee”
Anyone who has conducted interviews before will have heard these cliché statements too many times. Not only do they not actually tell the interviewer a lot about you, but they are also far too general. Stick to making statements that relate to the question and demonstrate why you’d be a good fit for the role.
Tip 6: Know your CV back to front
Don’t turn up to an interview without knowing your whole CV inside out and back to front. Know the dates for each period of employment, have a reason for moving between companies if necessary and make sure you can account for any gaps of unemployment.
Tip 7: Be interesting!
We all love going to the pub with friends at the weekend, but if it’s your only past time, it’s perhaps not something your prospective employer wants to hear. Tell the interviewer about yourself in an interesting way, and make yourself memorable. You never know how many other candidates you might be up against.
Tip 8: Have confidence
I’ve saved the most important tip for last: have confidence! If you can convey that you believe you are right for the job, the likelihood is that you’re interviewer will start to believe it too. Answer questions clearly and concisely, and above all remember to smile! In PR, being friendly and approachable is essential.
So, guess what – we’re recruiting! We’re currently looking to expand our team so if you think that you’ve got what it takes, get in touch by calling +44 (0) 1296 733 867 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ve already given you a head start with these top tips, so what are you waiting for?