6 Top Tips for Interview Preparation

15 March 2016 Peak Recruitment

Businesswoman sitting on a chair

The most important factor which will put you ahead of the crowd in your next interview is preparation. Here are 6 top tips from our recruitment professionals to help you streamline your strategy:

1. Dealing with Those Interview Nerves

The thought of an interview can cause a lot of anxiety. After all, it is highly likely it is the last hurdle between you and that position which could further your career, facilitate an increase in your wages or mean an enhancement of your status or lifestyle. There may well be a lot to lose and at times it must seem as if all could depend on whether you’re giving that elusive perfect answer or not.

First of all, that anxiety is perfectly natural. In fact, there would be something a little odd if you did not feel nervous beforehand. So do not think of it as a weakness – once you get into the interview room and are answering questions, those nerves are likely to dissipate and you will focus on what you need to do. Anxiety makes us alert to the “dangers” around us – it makes us especially tuned in to our environment and ready to act – so think of it as a springboard into a great interview.

However, sometimes those nerves can be really troublesome and get the better of us. So there are a few things you can do in the run up to the interview to calm down and keep control, concentration and focus:

  • Due to the fact that you are breathing faster when anxious it is a good idea to take long deep breaths while waiting to go in to the interview. In this way it slows your body down and replaces much needed oxygen.

  • Covertly tighten each part of your body in turn and then slowly relax that area. For instance, clench your fist then slowly relax your muscles. As you do, you will feel the stress leaving your body.

  • Your mind is likely to be racing too. Use your interview notes to focus on specific areas you need to remember while waiting to go in.

  • Keep uppermost in your mind your achievements and things you have done in your work and social life which you are proud of. This will dampen doubts and harbour a positive mind-set.

2. The First 90 Seconds Are So Important

Many interviewers will tell you that an interview is won or lost in the first 90 seconds of the interview. This is generally unlikely – especially where there are set questions with scoring, a panel of interviewers and a need to show in depth knowledge of a role. But it does highlight how essential your first impression is. So to ensure you are at your best:

  • Prepare what you will be wearing well in advance. Try on clothes at least the night before to make sure there are no rips, dirty marks or missing buttons. Most importantly make sure you are wearing something you feel comfortable and confident in. Double check zips ties and tights are where they should be before entering the interview room.

  • Don’t be late. Give your time to relax in the waiting room to calm down and gather your thoughts. Prepare your journey in advance (including parking if necessary) and factor in time for traffic jams, hold ups or delays.

  • On entering the room, light small talk can lighten the mood and bond you with the panel by reflecting your personality, keep eye contact and offer a firm handshake.

3. How Well Do You Know Yourself?

It is likely you have been offered the interview following a job application or through the acceptance of a CV. Before the interview go back over that information and also the original job description, to make sure the most salient points are in your mind. Also take a look at areas you may well be asked about, such as gaps in your employment career, a change in your career and positions which only lasted a short period. Make sure you can clarify these areas with positive remarks.

You will never be sure of what questions you will be asked about yourself but you can prepare for some of the more well-known and sticky questions. For instance, with the question “What is your greatest weakness?”, choose a weakness which you have worked on. Evidence how your change in behaviour has improved your working life.

4. How Well Do You Know the Company Offering the Position?

As much as you need to be an expert on yourself you also need to be an expert on the people who will be interviewing you. If you have a clear idea of the company’s mission and goals, services and products, unique selling points, target market and brand you will be able to customise your interview answers to job role and organisational requirements. Without this information you are simply selling yourself.

So spend time before the interview researching the company. It is a good idea to obtain company brochures and literature and also look them up online.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice

This can be a great way to help you deal with nerves on the big day and also present a much more refined confident performance. Find someone you trust (if it is a colleague in the industry all the better), provide them with those questions you feel you are likely to be asked and role play the whole interview process. Afterwards analyse the performance together – this may help you streamline your performance in the future.

6. Those End Questions

Many interviewees take those questions at the end rather lightly – it is a sign everything is over – a chance to throw in a few token questions and basically get out!

Hold on. This is a very important part of any recruitment and interview process because not only will you be able to clarify information about the role (and decide whether it is right for you) but the interviewers will be listening to what questions you ask. Well thought out questions which explore the job role and the company gives the impression of a person who is genuinely enthusiastic and passionate about the position. Decide which questions you will ask before going into the interview (no more than three) and use follow up questions when they make an answer.

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Peak Recruitment is the leading recruitment agency in Thailand. A human resource specialist, our pioneering methodology and commitment to deliver exemplary services has placed us first for executive recruitment in Bangkok. As a team, we offer a distinctive approach that you just won’t find anywhere else in Thailand. For contact information click here