Top tips for interview success

Interviews are tough. As recruiters, we see a lot of people slip up when it comes to interviews, so we know what works and what doesn’t. To help you for in your next interview, we asked our team to give us their top tips for success.

Of course, all interviews are different, and sadly there’s no magic formula that’s guaranteed to help you pass an interview with flying colours, but it definitely helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve to see you through. Here’s our team’s top tips:

  • It should be obvious but preparation is vital. When it comes to interviews, every detail is important. Know who you’re meeting and research them- what is their background? Where is the interview? How long will it take to get there? What do the company do? What are their challenges? Who are their competitors?
  • Seek help and advice. You might have been in the industry for 10 minutes or 10 years, but interviewing is a skill and if you haven’t done one for years, you might be a bit rusty. Talk to your recruiter, people you know in senior roles and previous employers and see if you can get some advice on what the interviewer might want to see, as well as downfalls in yourself that you might not recognise.
  • Always talk about achievements from your own perspective. For example, what have you done in the past to get a result? Too often, candidates are modest and talk about the team or company achievements in previous roles, but the interviewer wants to know about the impact you had as an individual, so be sure to tell them.
  • Learn what you want to know to make a decision. Interviewing is a two way process and it’s key that you leave the interview knowing if the job/company is right for you. If you have any doubts, be sure to ask the interviewer about them and see if they can put you at ease.
  • Be polite to everyone you meet! Don’t underestimate the receptionist, cleaner or the office dog. There’s a chance they might be asked about their interaction with you as it demonstrates your ‘natural’ personality as opposed to you being in interview mode.
  • Ask questions. It’s always good to have at least four questions prepared prior to the interview to show you’ve done your research. Always ask the interviewer if there is anything else you can do to demonstrate your suitability. They may have a small doubt which could be that you simply didn’t explain yourself properly. If this is the case, it’s always best to address it in the interview so that the interviewer isn’t left with any negative thoughts after you leave.
  • If you want the job, don’t be afraid to let the interviewer know. Explain why you would be pleased to join the company and the impact you’d make on the business. There’s no need to beg, but if you really like the company, don’t be afraid to let your enthusiasm show.
  • Take a copy of your CV, so you can be sure that you and the interviewer are looking at the same document. If the interview was arranged by a recruiter, ask them for a copy of the document they sent the client who is interviewing you. Also take a notebook to write down key points and questions that you could ask later on.
  • Always greet the interviewer with a firm handshake, eye contact (not too much) and a pleasant introduction.
  • Communicate effectively; talk too fast and the interviewer won’t understand you. If you find you are rambling, try to slow down your breathing and this will naturally slow down your speech. If you find yourself going off track, don’t hesitate to ask if you answered the question or if the interviewer could clarify the question again.
  • Take away your coffee cup! – If you have been provided a drink make sure you make the effort to clean it up! A simple “what would you like me to do with my coffee cup?” will cover it. There’s a company that uses this as key decision making criteria when choosing who to hire. They see it as a sign of being courteous and mindful of surroundings.

So there you have it, some of our top tips for interview success. If you’d like some more advice on how to ace your next interview, check out our blogs 7 questions you should ask at your next interview and assessing company culture through an interview.

Engineering, Information Technology