Posted May 20, 2013 | Career Advice | 6 Comments »

5 Essential Interview Tips For Candidates

Going for an interview with a new company can be daunting, to say the least. It could have been a long time since you were last in an interview situation, or maybe interviews have just never been your strong point. Whatever’s worrying you, keep calm and follow these steps to ensure job interview success.

5 Essential Interview Tips For Candidates

Photo: Kate Hiscock

1. Research The Company
If the employer says, ‘Have you taken a look at our website?’, you shouldn’t only be able to say yes, you should be able to recite their company values. If this is somewhere you see yourself working for the foreseeable future then you should want to learn everything about them. Show that you care about the company and what they do, and by learning about their process you can help figure out what your role within that process will be.

2. Ask Questions
This is the part that most candidates find difficult – you’re so focused on answering questions that your mind blanks any that you might like to ask. To conquer this, plan your questions in advance. You’ll inevitably wonder things as you prepare for your interview, so jot these thoughts down and rework them into something that the employer could answer. Bring your questions on note cards to the interview – you won’t forget what you wanted to ask and you’ll show the employer that you’re organised.

Here are some example interview questions:

“What would a typical work day consist of?”
“Are there any opportunities for training within the company?”

3. Dress The Part
Buy a new shirt, a half size too big if you want to make sure you’re feeling comfortable (but not so big that you look sloppy!). Your smartest suit is perfect for some interviews, but not for all of them. Think about the company and their ethos – for example are they a creative digital agency? If so, maybe best not to go in your stiffest pinstriped shirt and tie. Try to show a bit of your style and personality while still staying smart.

4. Don’t Be Late
If you’re unfamiliar with the area and you have a spot of free time, do a dry travel run to the interview location. Not only will it save you from getting lost on the day, it could even make you aware of any unexpected roadworks or other obstacles that you might otherwise not have allowed time for.

5. Relax!
This one is important. If you’ve done your research and managed not to spill ketchup down your new shirt, then there’s nothing more you can do than take a few deep breaths and just relax. Don’t be afraid to take a moment to think before you answer a question, and have a glass of water handy to keep you hydrated.

What’s the best interview advice you’ve ever been given? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @enigmapeople!

It’s not just candidates who need some help with their interview skills. Check back next week for some employer interview tips!

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