If the job hunt was a computer game, then the job interview is they equivalent of the final boss. It the final hurdle between you achieving your goal. As career experts and interview training specialists this post is going to give you some of the cheat codes to help you defeat the nemesis which is the job interview.
1) Start preparing as soon as you begin your job search process!
The biggest mistake people make when begin their job search is that they only start the process of interview preparation when they actually have a job interview. However this usually leaves you with very little time to actually prepare for the interview. Resulting an old fashion university style cramming approach which is far from the optimal way to prepare. Therefore start working on the obvious questions as soon as you’ve began your job search process and you’ll ahead of the curve with your prep when invited for interview.
2) Research information which you’re actually going to utilise in your answers.
How many times have you done a tonne of research but actually never been able to utilise it in the job interview? Therefore rather than spend hours on research, instead it’s vital that you firstly focus on building your answers and after consider what information you can research that you can integrate in to your answer.
3) Que Sera Sera mindset – Take the pressure off!
As the song goes “que sera sera, whatever will be will be”, and this is the mindset that you need to have. If it’s meant to be then the job will undoubtedly be yours. Therefore you shouldn’t be too concerned with the outcome of the job interview, rather focus on what you can control, which is your own performance and ultimately enjoying the experience. This will result you being more relaxed in the interview and therefore be able give a better performance.
4) Research the interviewers.
If you know who is going to interview you then it’s worth making a cheeky Google search, you might find some very interesting information about them which can help you in preparation for the job interview. From their hobbies to articles or interviews that they have given. You can then utilise this information in to your interview prep. i.e. by learning one of the interviewers enjoys watching rugby. So prior to the interview check the latest rugby results and you’ll have something that will prove useful in the small talk help build rapport.
5) Fact and figures matter.
If you want your answers to have more gravitas and impact in your job interview, try to use facts and figures where possible as it will help to provide greater context to your examples so instead of saying you were managing a team and were required to mange a budget, instead you say, I was managing a team of 4 and an annual budget of £250,000.
6) Practice your answers in the mirror.
By doing this you will pick up a lot of unconscious behaviours particularly in terms of body language as well as mannerisms or lack of. Sometimes by simply being aware you can nip many of those behaviours in the bud, this will help your provide a more refined job interview performance. However it’s important not to be to critical since some behaviours will take along time to change i.e. slouching, however if your posture has improved by even 50%, that’s a big win.
7) Narrative building.
Most interviews are usually behavioural and are marked against a criteria consisting organisational values as well as the key competencies they are looking for the ideal candidate. One trap many people fall in to is trying to base their answers around the key values and competencies. This is great in principle, however when you go in to the job interview you will find that despite mentioning the key competencies and values you will still score low. This is because your answer isn’t interesting or engaging. Therefore focus on making an engaging and interesting narrative first then think about where you can integrate the values and the key competencies. This will make your answer more natural and engaging as well ensure that you meet the criteria. This is particularly important strategy we use with our executive interview coaching.
8) Mini Mock Interviews.
I’ve talked about mock interviews before in my other blog post. But doing short sharp mock interviews say 15mins long covering a few questions at a time during your preparation period will dramatically improve and help refine your interview performance. As the saying goes practise makes perfect (however in this case, in smaller doses works best).
9) Slow to go further.
A lot of people approach interviews for jobs as if they’re preparing for an exam. However the reality is, interviews and exams have little similarities in the way they’re assessed. One is scored through a written assessment and the other is through verbal. Therefore techniques like cramming and powering through mental blocks like for an exam isn’t going to work in an interview and can actually have the opposite effect. Therefore if you find yourself getting stressed during your interview preparation, take a break and come back to it when you’re feeling more relaxed. Slow and steady in your prep will win the race.
10) Make sure your clothes for the interview are ready the day before.
It’s important that you’re relaxed on the day of the interview, therefore make sure that your clothes are ironed and your shoes are polished the day before. So on the day of the interview you can focus your energy on some minute practise rather than worrying about your clothes and footwear.
Someone recently asked are you providing coaching all over the UK and I responded Yes, Interview coaching Birmingham, in London, in Oxford and even as far afield as Paris, Singapore and New York. So where ever you are in the world whether it’s in the UK or outside, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need some interview support.