Regardless of your qualifications and resume, your chances of bagging that dream job will often hang on how well you perform during an interview. With many interviews taking place via video link rather than the traditional boardroom setting, knowing how to sell yourself in a variety of scenarios is integral to success.
Preparing for an interview does not only mean rehearsing your lines and buying a brand-new outfit, although these are arguably important, but also preparing yourself mentally so that you can go into the interview in a calm and cohesive frame of mind. Use breathing and visualisation techniques to relax and remind yourself that while there might be a lot on the line, this is not a life or death situation; instead, it is an opportunity for your prospective employer to find out more about you.
In a more literal sense, preparing some informed questions can help you to appear engaged and interested in the role. It can be tough to think up an appropriate question on the spot; therefore, do your homework in advance and have your questions ready beforehand.
Professionalism is vital in an interview, but projecting your personality can make you stand out from other candidates. Experts recommend breaking the ice with a conversational question about the company’s aims, objectives or recent news. When answering questions about your motivation and drive, try not to resort to clichés; instead, draw on your personal opinions and experiences and be real in your answers to show the panel who you really are.
Communication is not just about what comes out of our mouths; in addition, our body language says a lot about who we are and what we feel. Try hard to remain relaxed and confident. Slouching, fidgeting or avoiding eye contact can create a tense atmosphere and negative impression; instead, take things slowly and don’t rush or babble to speed up the process or fill silences.
As previously mentioned, being real in your responses is important. Lying or trying to cover up your weaknesses is a sure-fire way to make you look deceptive; instead, communicate your flaws in a positive light by explaining how you have learnt from them and how you are seeking to improve.
At the end of an interview, it is important to consider the next steps. Don’t be worried about looking presumptuous – a prospective employer will see your questions about the next stage in the process as a sign of confidence. If their response is favourable, this could be an early sign that you have done well.
A final touch is to send an email or note thanking the interviewer for their time. This is such a quick and simple thing but it can really make an impression on an interviewer and might just clinch the deal for you.
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