It is impossible to have the perfect interview. Interviews are unnatural positions to be in. You have to remember all your best stories that illustrate different skills and then tell them well to people who have the power to hire you. Whether it is a face-to-face interview or an online interview, everyone is nervous.
When you walk out of any interview you will start to remember things you could have or should have said. The good news is that every candidate is the same. As interviewers we know that interviews are difficult and nerve-wracking. Interviewers are trained to ensure that they look past the nerves of candidates. This is great news for you, you don’t need to be perfect. Here are some tips that will help you to have a great interview:
Practice, practice, practice
Practicing for interviews is important. Do mock interviews, ask friends and family to look over the job description and ask you interview questions. You don’t have to be perfect but you should be prepared.
Up your game
Make it really easy for the interviewers to see how your skills, experience and training make you the best candidate for the job. Think about the questions you are likely to be asked. A tip for this is to go through the job description and turn the job requirments into questions e.g. “the successful candidate must have customer service experience”, therefore prepare “Tell me a time where you showed excellent customer service”. What are your best examples that show your skills and experience for each requirment?
Research the company
People love to talk about themselves, the same goes with interviewers. They love to talk about their company. On average people spend one third of their lives at work so the achievements of their company are important to them. Don’t go to an interview without knowing something about the company. It is insulting and it looks like you are not interested in the job or the company.
Prepare a question for the interviewers
When it comes to the end of the interview you will be asked, “do you have any questions for us?” You would be amazed how many people do not have any questions. This is your opportunity to find out anything you want to know about the company. Remember that you are interviewing the company too.
Think about what you would like to ask before you go into the interview.
Send a thank you note
My grandmother used to say it costs nothing to be polite and she is right. Only about 1% of people will send a thank you note or email and it is a small gesture that really sets you apart from the rest of the applicants. You can also include anything that you forgot to say in the interview or anything that you discussed in the interview. Here is an example of what you could write in a thank you email you could send:
Dear <Contact name>
Thank you for your time today. I really enjoyed meeting you and your team. As we discussed in the interview I am excited about the position of <job title>. I was especially interested to learn about <interesting thing they told you during the interview>. I think my experience in ________ and my qualifications in _________ would help you to achieve <achievement you would make in the role>.
I wanted to add that I also have experience in <thing you forgot to add in the interview> .
If there is any further information you need during the hiring process, please don’t hesitate to ask.
I look forward to possibly working with you in the future.
Best of luck in your interview! Don’t forget that you don’t need to be perfect, even the best interviewee will come out of an interview and remember something they should have said or think of how they should have been better.