Today’s candidate market is highly competitive and demanding.
Top candidates are in high demand and the best have more choices than ever, meaning that when you do get to interview stage, it’s essential to confidently sell yourself.
But what does it mean to perform well in an interview, especially when pitting yourself against other well-qualified and experienced candidates?
You’ll want to do more than simply check off the boxes on your interviewer’s list – you want them to get excited about making you an offer.
Here’s how to get started…
Carry yourself with confidence
Hiring managers want confident, forward-thinking people to join their teams, so if you feel unsure about yourself during the interview process it’ll show.
Obviously, impressing hiring managers while answering their questions is essential, but how you answer and how you carry yourself can have an impact too.
During an interview take note of how you’re sitting, if you’re fidgeting or avoiding eye contact. By maintaining good posture and making eye contact you’ll appear confident and interested and engaged.
Nerves can make verbal ticks more prominent but try to avoid saying “um” or “like”. Practising answering questions beforehand and knowing your experience and why you’re right for the role should help eliminate filler words and allow you to clearly convey why you’re the best candidate for a role.
Be ready for behavioural interview questions
“Tell me about a time when you failed.”
It’s commonplace for hiring managers to ask behavioural questions, therefore, you need to be ready to answer these questions convincingly!
A popular method that many interviewers recommend using is STAR – Situation, Task, Action, Result. By using this useful tool you’ll ensure that you’re fully answering the questions and getting the necessary points across.
Focus on their needs
A great way to sell yourself to employers is to make the discussion about them.
Shift your mindset into thinking about everything from the employer’s perspective and the problems are they trying to solve in hiring for the role.
Do your research to gain insight into their wants and needs and take a careful look again at the job description before the interview.
Put your strengths on display
It often feels uncomfortable, however, it is essential to talk positively about yourself during a job interview.
It can be a fine line between boasting and confidence, but you want to highlight your achievements, skills and the things you’re proud of.
You may find it useful to frame your achievements in terms of other people’s comments, such as, “my coworkers said XYZ about me…” or “during my annual review, my manager said that my organisational abilities were outstanding…” etc.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that by avoiding saying “we” statements you’ll sound more confident and accomplished.
Get familiar with your own CV
Before interviews, hiring managers take time to re-read CVs so that they’re prepared to ask questions about them. For example, they may ask “The role that you held three years ago looks interesting, what did your day-to-day work involve here?”
And if you’re not familiar with what you put down, it’s going to be tough to answer this with confidence.
So, if some time has passed between when you last updated and looked at your CV and when you got the interview, make sure to review it so you know what they’re looking at when they ask you questions.
Ask great questions
Most candidates spend lots of time preparing amazing answers, but often forget to think about what questions they’re going to ask.
Don’t just ask any old questions for the sake of it, or questions you can easily find out yourself by doing some research (benefits, holiday etc.). Instead, think about what you ACTUALLY want to know.
Do you want to know how the team you’ll be joining works together, what progression opportunities there, and why do people stay with the business?
If you can think beyond asking the typical questions that other candidates are likely to ask, you should stand out and be memorable.