Current forecasts in today’s job market look promising with One in three job seekers expecting to get a job in the next two months (Totaljobs.com) and Demand for professional talent up 22% on 2013 as business confidence reaches an all time high (Apsco – trade body for professional staffing).
These are just two examples of the job trend going in the right direction but a positive job climate won’t be enough if you are not successful at interviews. Unless you are a specialist, expect fierce competition when applying for jobs. If you then find that you are one of a small number then it will be a bonus! By expecting fierce competition you will be more motivated to think of ways that you can be a standout candidate.
Here are a few tips to help you and there is more information in my free eBook ‘Taking the Fear out of Interviews‘
Be really sure why you are applying for this particular role and what you can offer.
This will be one of the first questions you will be asked and interviewers won’t be impressed if they think you just want to get any job. They will want to recruit someone who is really enthusiastic about the opportunity. If you don’t show it, they won’t know it! If your heart isn’t in to obtaining the position, then don’t apply for it as failure will be very likely.
Be aware of how you communicate, and of the impression you are making
.. at all times throughout the application and interview process. Some people make the mistake trying to be their best just during an interview but it should start at the initial point of a telephone call or submitting your CV. Anyone involved in recruitment, whether hiring companies or agencies, will be fine tuned to this.
You cannot prepare too much. This is so important.
Although an interview is when you learn the finer details of the position, interviewers will be impressed if you demonstrate that you have researched the company and the role as best you can. The internet makes this so easy. So have some idea of the company’s history, where it is now in their marketplace and where future growth is planned. Who are their main competitors? Equally, you should practise typical interview questions beforehand – if you can enlist a friend to be the ‘interviewer’, so much the better. You are likely to be asked Skills/Technical and Behavioural Competency questions which show how you are likely to act in a situation. Practise questions can be found in my eBook. This preparation will help you be more confident and relaxed.
Review your own performance and request feedback.
Obviously, there is no guarantee of success at interview. Whilst companies are obliged, if requested, to give feedback following an interview, sometimes it can be too generic but I recommend that you ask anyway. If you stress that you really want to learn why you have been unsuccessful and that you wish to improve your chances for the next time, you will come across as open-minded and willing to accept constructive criticism. They will hesitate with meaningful feedback if they are faced with any aggression. In any event, much can be gained from reviewing your own performance. Put yourself in the place of the interviewer and evaluate yourself objectively – be very honest. What was their first impression of your appearance and manner? Were you fluent and responding to their questions concisely or were you too passive or too assertive? Did you come across as a team player? Did you act on the above points 1,2,3 the very best you could? What are the key points you can take from the experience and apply to your next interview so that your chances of success are increased?