Know your CV, prepare, create rapport, question, answer, conclude.
Know your CV. Understand when, why, and how you have made the career steps that you have.
- Research the Client: read the company website, read information sites and investor sites such as Wikipedia, conduct a general Google search. What do previous or current employees think of the company?
- Research the people: try to get to know who will be interviewing you and get an understanding of the organisational structure and where they sit in the business. LinkedIn can be a very useful tool for this exercise.
- Preparation: undoubtedly makes for a better interview outcome and practicing your answers to competency based questions and other technical questions that you’re expecting will improve your deliver and give you a greater sense of confidence.
- Dress code: First impression's still count for so much and for interviews is a vital element of preparation, with clothing sending out a signal, which can either help or hinder your chances. Whilst many employers highly value a sense of personality, it is typically best to expect formality on first meeting, unless specifically briefed otherwise.
Building rapport is never more important than in an interview. As mentioned, first impressions count as much as does taking a genuine interest:
- Smile when you first see your interviewer
- Establish and maintain eye contact
- Be the first to say hello and extend your hand
- Deliver a sincere greeting Use the person’s name
- Do more listening than talking (although a great ratio would be 50:50)
- Voice tone (how you sound), speed and volume
- Speech patterns – pick up the key words or phrases your interviewer uses and build these subtly into your conversation. Notice how the interviewer handles information. Do they like detail or talk about the bigger picture? Feedback information in a similar way.
- Rhythm of body movement and energy levels
- Body postures and gestures (don’t use this one too often as it can be obvious and may be perceived as mimicking!)