Thinking about some of the most nerve-wracking experiences we have in our lifetime, I would say that an interview is up there. It’s a moment in time where you are on your own, in front of your potential new boss, and it’s time to sell, time to sell you.
If you accept that you will feel nervous, we all feel nervous, the person interviewing you is most likely nervous, then this is the first step. However, the good news is there are other things you can do ahead of time to try and lessen that feeling, and ultimately be at your best.
The key to success? One word. Preparation.
Obvious, right? But like anything, it’s easier said than done, plus interviews have changed a lot in recent times, therefore your preparation needs to change too. I’ve put together a few hints and tips that will allow you to be the best you can be on the day and hopefully secure yourself a new job!
- Your CV and LinkedIn Profile. Read them!
The interviewer will have looked at your CV/LinkedIn profile, so it’s really important that you remember key information and that they match. Make sure you can explain any career moves and as simple as it sounds, can you explain what you did in each role and tangible key achievements? Simple but essential.
- Everything and everyone.
Stop. Before you go any further, get off the company website as the first port of call.
Have a look at your interviewer on LinkedIn. Have they posted anything lately, if so what do you think about that? Then do the same for the company page. Have they posted anything interested lately? What do you think about that? Do you have any connections, school friends, ex-colleagues or contacts who work there?
Google search. The most simple and basic, but the search algorithm on Google is really good, so the reality is if you search the organisation you will see relevant and potentially interesting news articles linked to them.
Lets be social. Many organisations now have social media accounts across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so check those out. Probably worth sanity checking yours at this point too, again they will be looked at, so worth considering.
Right, now you can check out their website. Go for new updates, product/service offering and most importantly their values. Do you actually like and connect with these? If so, why?
- Location, location, location. Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
Have you checked the location of your interview?
First things first, be prepared for face-to-face interviews again, they are coming, they are real and you will be asked to attend them. Clothes for the upper and lower sections of your body, will be key for this. Just something to consider.
If however the interview is virtual there are some key things to remember:
- The link to join. Have you received the link in good time?
- If the interview is on a platform you have not used before, then don’t be shy in asking how it works. A landscape that started with Zoom has now been flooded with others, you are not expected to know them all.
- Set your scene. I once interviewed someone sat against the backdrop of their heavily un-made bed. That is not cool.
- Just check all is connected and working before you login to the call.
- I know you will have some views on people who wear headsets, we all do. The truth is, however, most now have fantastic microphones in them. If you have the set that came with your phone, just use them, it will make your voice nice and clear.
- CAMERA! Last, but by no means least is that camera on, and pointing at you?
- Time & space:
Allow plenty of time to get to your interview, if attending in person. You will feel less stressed if you know you have time on your side.
If you are doing virtually, make sure everyone in your space is aware that you have an important meeting. Make sure you have the privacy you need to concentrate and be at your best.
Seriously I know it sounds strange, but you want to talk and build rapport with the person you are interviewing with. It will make you more relaxed, it will show them more of you and it will allow you to find out more about them.
Didn’t someone once say it’s good to talk?
- Prepare some questions:
There is nothing worse when leading an interview than asking ‘so do you have any questions’ and the person sat opposite says ‘no, I think we covered everything.’
You have not covered everything. This is your next career move, this is where you will spend the most amount of waking hours in the coming days, weeks and years. There are always questions.
Ask some, please.
If offered a glass of water, take it, or better still bring your own bottle of water to the interview.
Just remember it is OK to feel nervous, but if you’ve prepared, if you’ve followed the steps above, then I know you’ve got this.
Article written by Lauren Parsons, Talent Partner at Digital 51. To ask Lauren for help, tips and guidance on your next job search, drop her a line on