Perfect interview technique – How to do it!

You’ve just heard back from that amazing Cambridge tech company you want to work for, and they want to get you in for an interview asap. Great news! But then reality hits you like a ton of bricks. They only way you will get the job is to nail the interview. And you hate interviews!

So how can you guarantee success?

We have all been there. You have just found your perfect job, and all that stands between you and eternal glory is an interview. Pitting your talents, abilities, and charm against likeminded people, who are also aiming to nail that perfect job, can be quite daunting. Very few of us experience no nerves at an interview, arriving full of confidence, safe in the knowledge that our best will deliver the role. For most of us, we need to prepare thoroughly for what lies ahead, leaving no stone unturned.

To make this easier, we have put together a short and simple guide detailing what you need to do to maximise your chances next time out.

It’s all about preparation, preparation, and preparation!

We have probably mentioned this in many of our other articles, and yet it holds true for nearly all recruitment situations. If you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail!

Preparation can (and should) cover many different areas and could include things like the company you are meeting, the role you are interviewing for and, where possible, any people you know you will encounter as part of the interview process. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard of someone on interview, who has been asked “Do you know what we do here?” or “Tell me a little bit about what you know about our company?” and is then incapable of answering the question, simply because they could not be bothered to research this before they came in. If you can’t answer this most basic of questions, then you might as well get your coat now!

To avoid this common problem, give yourself enough time to do your research before you go to the interview! Valuable information on the company’s main products and industries can be found on their website. Recent press releases and news articles can be located via a quick Google search.  Social media will often give you a feeling for the company culture. It’s not that difficult to do.

All this effort will demonstrate to the company that you are a serious contender for the role on offer.

Interview yourself for the role

Although being objective is always tricky in these situations, try to imagine yourself as the interviewer and review your own application. What would you ask yourself at the interview? What would you see as your weak points or areas that need further explanation? Asking a trusted friend or relative to help out is also worth trying.

It is always a good idea to look at possible questions that you may be asked, before the interview. A quick Google search will yield any number of ‘stock’ interview questions for you to consider and prepare for. For example:

  • Why are you interested in this role and our company?
  • Why do you think you would be suitable for this role?
  • Where would you like to be in 3-5 years’ time?

These sorts of questions appear time and time again and are on almost every HR question sheet in the country. So, get ahead of the game and make sure you have excellent answers for the most obvious ones.

Don’t forget that your social media profiles are part of your application

While you might not send your social media profiles on as part of your application, in this day and age you have to assume that the serious employer will review them as part of the application process.

Recent research has shown that more than 50% of potential employers search for extra details on candidates on channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Thus, while you might believe this to be personal and out of reach, it might not be. So, just be sure that any public profile out there is both professional and in keeping with any other details you have sent as part of your formal application.

Don’t overdo it the night before your interview!

This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get to bed early the night before your interview. It means that you need to be fresh and firing on all cylinders the next day. So, as well as getting a good night’s sleep, don’t be sat up late swatting on last-minute notes. You should have done this already, well in advance of the night before!

Best case, you just remind yourself of something you already know. Worst case, you stumble across some new data that then makes you panic, because you have only just found it! If you don’t know it now, you never will!

Turning up for interview bright eyed and bushy tailed is very important. First impressions count, so being well presented, dressed appropriately and being alert and responsive will go a long way toward helping you convince the interviewer you are the right person for the role.

Don’t be late!

As with a lot of good advice on finding a new job in Cambridge, this is an obvious point and yet one that needs to be repeated.  It is an absolute must when attending an interview and, almost certainly, a recipe for failure if you are late. Getting in the bad books of a potential employer, even before you have arrived at the interview, is not the ideal way to start!

Just relax and be yourself

Trying to relax is probably the hardest thing for most of us to do in an interview. While being a little nervous is a good thing and will help you to stay focused and alert, being too nervous and not being able to relax after the first few minutes is an interview killer. So how can you help yourself to relax?

Well, following all of the above points is an excellent start. It all comes down to our first point, covering preparation. By spending time on your preparation and addressing each of the above points, in turn, it will significantly improve your ability to relax and remain calm and collected. The confidence you will gain by knowing you have thoroughly prepared for the interview will hopefully translate into your body language and will give you the opportunity just to be yourself, and nail the interview!

So, now you know how to nail the perfect interview, try to apply these lessons to your next interview and make sure you prepare thoroughly. Good luck!