Once you’ve crafted a resume that stands out from the crowd, it’s time to get ready for your interview. The interview process can be the most intimidating part of a job hunt, but confidence is key.
We’ve previously talked about the importance of preparing for commonly asked interview questions, but what else can you do to ace your interview in English? As part of our Career Week, we’ve put together eight top tips to set you on the path to interview success.
1. Do your research
It is absolutely essential that you familiarize yourself with the industry, company and role you’re interviewing for. The company’s website is a great place to start. This will provide some useful talking points and ensure you’re ready for a few standard interview questions. Always come prepared with an answer to the question: “Why do you want to work here?”
2. Practice, practice, practice
Practice makes perfect. Arrange a mock interview with a friend, or if all else fails, rehearse your answers to commonly asked questions in front of a mirror. Not only will this be an opportunity to gain confidence in your spoken English, it’s also a great way to get comfortable talking about your relevant skills and qualifications.
3. Be prepared
It should go without saying but do make sure you’re on time for your interview. If you’re relying on public transportation, always have an alternative route in mind in case your bus or train is delayed. Also, remember to bring an extra copy of your resume and a list of references.
4. Know your strengths
A hiring manager will want to know what skills you’ll to bring to their company. Read the job specification and make a note of the credentials they are looking for. Think about your relevant skills and achievements, and prepare to talk about specific examples that highlight your professional strengths and suitability for the position.
5. Think about a weakness you’ve overcome
It’s no secret that interviewers love the question: “What is your biggest weakness?” Identify something that you’ve struggled with in the past, but have since dealt with. Be sure you can list concrete ways in which you’ve overcome this former weakness. For instance, perhaps you used to struggle with organization, but now you make a point of keeping an updated calendar to help you stay on top of your tasks and deadlines.
6. Dress for success
When it comes to an interview, it’s crucial that you make a great first impression. The best advice? Dress for the position you want. You will be more confident when you know you look well groomed and your clothing is wrinkle-free and professional. It’s also important to be comfortable in what you’re wearing on the day; there is nothing more distracting than an interviewee who is fidgeting with their clothes or hair.
Positivity goes a long way in an interview. A genuine smile can put everyone at ease and show your interviewer that you’re truly enthusiastic about the job. Be sure to make eye contact and be aware of your body language. Above all, avoid the temptation to make negative comments about former employers.
8. Say “Thank you”!
Taking the time to say a polite thank you following an interview is a small gesture that can make a big impression. Consider following up with a thank you email. This will keep you at the forefront of the hiring manager’s mind and give you the perfect chance to reiterate why you would be a great fit for the position.
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