With so many CVs floating through the HR departments of businesses all over the country, getting noticed is tough. If you manage to get through the first rounds and are invited in for an interview you have already done a great job. But, don’t pat yourself on the back just yet. Getting into the room is only valuable if it ends with a job offer.
So, how do you convince the recruiter that you are the one for the job? Here are some fail-safe tips that will help you nail your job interview.
A job interview is your chance to really shine. You can show the recruiter that you are more than just words on a piece of paper. If your CV has been chosen from the dozens or even hundreds that were undoubtedly sent in, you have already impressed the recruiter. They can see you have the academics and the achievements. Now, they want to see whether or not you are someone they could imagine working with. This is the time to let your personality shine through. Be friendly and don’t be shy. Remember, the recruiter is a human just like you so the odd joke (in good taste) or anecdote will make you seem interesting and memorable.
Dress the Part
I was once told that your personal brand is what people say about you once you’ve left the room. You do not want to leave your interview and have your recruiter commenting on what you were wearing. Men, you’ve got it easy – suits and ties with nicely polished shoes will do the trick. Women, you’re going to want a smart skirt or dress that ends just above the knee with a blouse and blazer. Or a pant suit if you feel more comfortable in trousers. Make-up and jewellery should be subtle and hair should be tidy.
Be Polite to Everyone
From the moment you walk through the door you are being assessed. Being rude or stand off-ish with the reception staff or security will not win you any points. Smile and chat with everyone you meet as this will make the best impression. Who knows, that comment from the receptionist about how lovely you are could tip the decision in your favour.
Be on Time
For heaven’s sake be on time. If you know you will be travelling during rush hour, give yourself plenty of extra time. If you arrive really early you can always go and get yourself a coffee or read through your notes beforehand to pass the time. However, there are some circumstances where you simply cannot help being late. Your train might break down or there might be a severe accident on the road. In this case, make sure you contact the recruiter as soon as you can and be apologetic.
Don’t Be Afraid to Sell Yourself
Selling yourself is a hard thing to do. There’s no denying that to most people talking about how great you are does not come naturally. The interviewer is here to listen to you and they want to know what makes you a good candidate for a job in their company. You need to make them believe you are the right choice. Be charming, think before you speak, and talk confidently about your achievements (you can even embellish a little – but don’t lie). Just try not to come across as obnoxious or narcissistic.