10 Tips To Improve Your Interview Technique

Does anyone really enjoy being interviewed? Even the most confident of individuals will feel nervous before an interview. If we really are motivated to secure the role, it is only natural to feel nervous, it may be fear of not securing your dream job or simply due to a lack of practice. How do we prepare ourselves and conduct ourselves to ensure we pass with flying colours?

1) Preparation: It sounds basic but you will be surprised how many people fail at the first question “tell me what you know about us”. If you get this part wrong the whole interview could be lost. Make sure you research the company and ensure you understand the company values, that way you can evidence how you fit the culture and indeed how you can add value to what they do.

2) Strengths and areas of development: What are your key strengths? What are your most significant achievements? How would others describe you? Make sure your responses clearly match with the job description and person specification. It is also important to understand which of your skills need developing and what you are doing to address this.

3) Read the JD! Print off the job description, read it thoroughly and identify the key duties. The questions that you are asked at interview will likely centre on these duties, therefore you need to prepare some clear examples of where you have delivered against each objective previously.

4) Eliminate the fear factor: If interviews cause you sleepless nights then write down the reasons. Once you have a list of the things that are worrying you, you can then set about conquering them. Be honest about this, self-awareness is a positive trait to have. Don’t hope for the best, get advice from your agent or practice your answers with a colleague or friend.

5) Presentation: First impressions are everything, don’t get off on the wrong foot, make sure you maintain good eye contact, offer a firm hand shake and smile. If you enter the room lacking confidence and looking disinterested, they may assume this is what you will bring to the table.

6) Listen to the question: Make sure you let the interviewer finish the question, by no means interject or assume that you know what they are about to ask. If you don’t understand or didn’t hear the question properly then pause and ask them to repeat it. Take your time, breathe, think and respond when you feel you can articulate your answer properly.

7) Be positive: It is essential that you keep any negativity to a minimum. Be mindful of the language you are using, think about how you are going to articulate your reason for moving on from your current employer or indeed why you have already left. Concentrate on the positive aspects of the job you are applying for and the company you are meeting. Ask yourself “what attracts me most to the job and company” rather than “what annoys me about where I am”.

8) I vs We: Remember that it is YOU that is being interviewed and therefore they want to know what YOU have achieved, what was YOUR input, by using we within your example it leaves them wondering if it was you leading the example or simply following instruction.

9) Tell the story: Identify examples that positively demonstrate your ability to deliver the objective, think about the end and then describe what you did to get there. What was the Situation, Task, Action, Result?

10) Ask the right questions: Conduct your own assessment, make sure that the company, role and their objectives fit with your own personal values. Base questions around their current position and future change, see how transparent they are with you, is there a hidden agenda or are they honest about their requirements. Some examples to consider:

  1. What do you expect me to achieve in the first 3 months?
  2. What are the biggest challenges that you are currently facing?
  3. How do you plan to deal with these?
  4. What’s the company vision and how do you see this role contributing towards this?
  5. Is there anything that I haven’t managed to articulate properly today?

So to give yourself the best opportunity to secure the role you have applied for, remember to prepare, get plenty of rest the night before, leave plenty of time to find the location, dress smart, be positive, be confident but not arrogant, know your subject and offer a real enthusiasm towards the person and the company. Good luck……

For more information on how to improve your interview technique please contact our Greenacre consultants on 01462429750 or contact daniel@greenacre-recruitment.com

Greenacre Recruitment is a Social Housing Consultancy, passionate about driving change, finding solutions for, and challenging Leadership issues within the public sector. You can follow Greenacre on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter to engage on topics of leadership, change and the public sector industry news.

Daniel Short is Managing Director at Greenacre Recruitment. You can follow or engage with Daniel on LinkedIn, or any of the above Greenacre Recruitment social media platforms.