How to do well in an Interview

You have sent your CV and Cover letter to a job you really want. And the day has finally come, you have gotten a call back for an interview, congrats! The company like what they see, and would like to know more about you. 

You are excited but nervous and would like to brush up on your interview skills, well look no further, the work has just begun. 

Interview skills are learned and there are no second chances to make first good impressions. We have put together a range of tips for the whole interviewing process.

Tips before the Interview

1. Research the company and interviewers 

If you applied for the job you may already have some knowledge of the company, but don’t underestimate the power of social media. Take notes on various articles and websites that they may have. This will give you a solid understanding of the company's background and values, and how you could make a great fit.

If you know who is interviewing you, check out their LinkedIn, and their background. This will give you an idea of what to expect but also a chance for you to ask questions.

2. Practice your answers to common interview questions 

Drawing on your own examples with skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for, thus showing what you are capable of. For example, you may be asked ‘How you dealt with a certain situation?’ 

Be sure to review the job listing requirements and match them to your experience. If in doubt ask a friend or family member to practice with to let you get more comfortable answering different questions. 

 3. Prepare questions to ask the interviewer

Have a list of two to three questions ready to ask the interviewer. It goes without saying that at the end of every interview they ask if you have any questions. This gives you a chance to show that you have done your research and are interested in the organization. 

For example, you may have a question about ‘What are the challenges you’re currently facing in your role?’ or ‘How would you describe the characteristics of someone who would succeed in this role?’

Tips during the interview

1. Dress for the job 

The night before have your attire laid out and ready to go. Whether it be a suit or something less formal each company has its own dress code so brush up on that. 

If unsure, call to ask about the company dress code before the interview. 

2. Bring copies of your CV 

Yes, the interviewer should have your cover letter and cv in front of them but always have a spare copy to hand over. 

Bring a pen and a small notebook, be prepared to take notes. Write information down so you can prepare for your follow-up thank-you notes. 

3. Be on Time  

This goes without saying. Once you have the location of the interview, check out how long it will take you to get there, whether by car, bus, or walking. Consider doing a practice run. Always give yourself an extra 15 minutes in case of an unexpected disruption such as traffic or public transport not arriving as scheduled.  

The same can be said about not arriving too early to an interview. 10/15 minutes beforehand is more than enough to get yourself seated in the waiting area. 

4. Listen and stay calm 

Interviews are nerve-wracking, but take it slow. Listen to what you are being asked, if you are unsure about a question and need to take a moment to think about it, that is totally fine. It avoids ‘ums’ and ‘ehhs’ 

Maintain eye contact when necessary and be aware of your body language. 

Tips after the interview

1. Follow up the interview with a thank-you note

After the interview, ask the interviewer what the next expected steps are. This will likely be a follow-up email or call with results from the interview. 

Follow up either the same day if the interview was in the morning or the next day to say thank you for their time and to reiterate your interest in the company. You could also include any details you may have forgotten during the interview. 

Ultimately, interviews can be challenging, but remember with some advance planning, you'll be able to ace the interview and demonstrate why you're the best candidate for the company's next new hire.
If you are only starting the job application process and would like to brush up on your cv and cover letter writing skills do check out an article we wrote in Accounting Technicians Ireland to help you get started.

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