28 Jul How to NAIL your next job interview and land your dream job!

Congratulations! The time has come to get out there and get yourself a new job. With everything else going on in your life it might seem a bit daunting. Lots of people tell me that they get nervous prior to an interview because they don’t know what to expect. So plan, prepare and practice your answers to the obvious questions and you’ll be likely to NAIL that job you covet!

Here are a few simple tips to help you on your way in an interview:

  1. Analyse your audience. Do some research on the company and your interviewer. Ask yourself: “what will they be thinking, feeling and doing when I arrive?” In other words, what is this company all about? What’s important to them? What are they looking for with this role? What skills, attributes, values will they consider important? Then be sure to keep it honest and align what they are looking for with your relevant experience and personality traits when giving examples throughout the interview.
  2. Be prepared. Work out what they might ask you and then plan what you’ll say in your answers. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! You’ll feel a whole lot more confident if you know you have prepared well.
  3. Build rapport. Just remember – It’s ALL about rapport! Rapport is a connection or relationship with another and it’s easier to build rapport with people who are like us. We like people who are like ourselves – find common ground.
  4. Believe in yourself. If you don’t believe you are the best person for the job then you can be sure the interviewer won’t either. Walk, sit, talk and act in a confident manner at all times.
  5. Give yourself time to compose an answer. Don’t feel that you have to immediately jump in with your answer.
  6. Articulate your strengths. The interviewer wants to know about you and your suitability for the position, so it is important to emphasise your achievements. Relate specific examples of where you have demonstrated your proficiency in certain areas.
  7. Stick to the point. Never tell a story in interview that has no point or relevance to the question asked.
  8. Keep it positive. Make sure you do not criticize your current or former employer, it creates bad karma and reflects negatively on you.
  9. Put yourself on their team. Link yourself with the prospective employer by using the employer’s name and products or services. Show you’ve done your research.
  10. Image is as important as content. The way you look and the way you say something are just as important as what you say. It takes 9 seconds to form a first impression and that’s completely to do with what you look like. Then it’s a further 25 seconds where the interviewer is assessing: your direct connected eye contact; how comfortable you seem in your own skin; and the depth and resonance of your voice. So be sure to present a package that will attract a favourable rating. And remember to rehearse a bit beforehand – that’s how you get the confident look!
  11. Ask Questions. Write out specific questions you want to ask. Then look for opportunities to ask them during the interview. It’s not a great idea to ask about benefits or salary too early in the process.
  12. Maintain a conversational flow. Make conversation rather than simply waiting for the interviewer to question you.
  13. Ask for the job. Tell the interviewer you’d really like the job. It is also worth making a succinct and positive statement about why you are the best person for the position.
  14. Keep an interview journal. As soon as possible, write a brief summary of what happened so you can learn from your mistakes and remember things that work for next time.
  15. Thank them. Prepare and send a brief, concise, thank you letter. Restate how much you’d like the job, remind them of your relevant skills and what you can do for the company.

Try these tips and you’ll be nicely prepared for interview success. Best of luck!

Michelle Bowden is a Presentation and Persuasion specialist. The author of How to Present: the ultimate guide to presenting your ideas and influencing people using techniques that actually work (Wiley), Michelle has facilitated her Persuasive Presentation Skills Masterclass over 780 times for many thousands of people and is known for her ability to transform everyone into confident, engaging and persuasive communicators so they get more of what they want in life.

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