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How to nail an interview

Top tips for nailing the job interview

Knowing what it takes to nail a job interview has never been more crucial. Youth employment took a hit as a result of COVID-19 meaning more people out of work and increased competition, not to mention the fact that many organisations had to pivot in the pandemic making some jobs harder to come by.

So, standing out in an interview requires a new suite of skills and qualities. Read our top tips on what it takes to get an edge on the interview process to give yourself the best chance of landing a job in today’s employment climate.

Ensure your resume reflects who you are

Proper preparation starts with a creative and personalised resume which grabs the attention of a future employer.

Do everything you can before the interview to create a unique, personalised light for you to shine in. Add a video, write a handwritten letter, build a website that tells your story. Connect on LinkedIn and send an InMail to express your interest in the position or organisation. You want to get your interviewers excited about you before they’ve even had a chance to meet you.

Research, research, research

Once you’ve impressed them with your unique application, it’s time to begin researching and planning the interview. And in today’s COVID world, that could be in-person or online, so get familiar and comfortable with virtual interviews and technology.

The first step is to fully understand the role you are applying for and the organisation. What does the organisation do? What are its values? Who is in the team and what are their backgrounds? The answers to these questions need to be mapped out ahead of the interview.

It’s a great idea to print out the job description and underline all the key points and requirements, then link all your relevant knowledge, skills, and experiences that address each specific point.

Be yourself as everyone else is taken

During the interview it’s important to not only be professional, but also let your personality come out. Bring your whole self to the interview and don’t diminish your passion, vision and certainly don’t discount your previous experience by underselling yourself.

Remember, you have a unique way of seeing the world that is valuable and relevant. Have confidence in your abilities and what you can bring to the organisation and position. Don’t forget technical skills can be taught. These days employers want employees to have particular abilities like self-awareness, self-confidence, drive, determination, and willingness to contribute and add value.

If the interview is a video interview, make sure you approach it with the same level of effort and commitment you would show in a face-to-face interview. Dress professionally, have a clean background and good lighting. Ensure you can use the software, your laptop is charged, you’re joining the meeting from a quiet room. Give yourself the peace of mind and do a test before the interview.

Sell yourself through storytelling.

Always think positively and tell yourself good things in the lead up to the interview. Give yourself a pep-talk if that works for you. If you don’t tell your interviewer what’s great or unique about you or what you’ve achieved, how can they make the right choice in picking you for the position? You can do this through storytelling which is a powerful form of branding.

Storytelling connects the interviewer with you emotionally. Take them on your career journey and finish with a positive or successful ending that reflects favourably on you and meets their needs.

Questions

One of the best ways to show interest in the role and the organisation is to ensure you have prepared some questions to ask at the end of your interview. There is nothing worse than having nothing to ask. This shows thoughtfulness and interest, which bodes well. Interviewers are always keen to share insight into their business and team, so don’t hold back.

Here are some ideas:

  • What have been some of the team’s successes this year?
  • What are you looking for in the ideal candidate?
  • How will you measure the success of this role?
  • What would be the critical priorities for me in the first three months?

 

The Follow-up

After your interview, make sure you send a follow-up email. Thank the interview panel for their time and opportunity to meet with them. Express your interest in the role after having learned more about the position, and let them know how excited you are about the opportunity. This creates a positive impression that you’re still engaged in the role.