Presenting yourself effectively in an interview is crucial to landing a job.
How you present yourself physically and verbally
What can you do to prepare yourself?
What questions will you be asked and what can you say to convince the interviewer that you are the best person for the job?
These are some of the questions you must ask yourself as you plan for your interview.
Feeling nervous is perfectly natural - whether it's your first or 50th interview! It might feel like you have to 'mask' a bit during your interview, it's best to answer and communicate honestly when being interviewed.
Here are a few general tips for making a great first impression:
Preparing for the interview
The key to performing well at an interview is preparation. This includes:
- Researching the company
- Deciding what to wear to an interview
- Anticipating questions and practicing responses; and
- Knowing where the interview is and how you'll get there.
Preparation and practice can boost your confidence and your overall performance within the interview.
Learning about the company
Find out as much about the company as possible. You can find information about the company in a number of ways, including its website, Internet searches, or simply call the company and request some information.
If you cannot find a copy online, an annual report or other promotional materials are a good place to start. These can give you information on the services or products, locations, size, turnover and other vital statistics.
You can get a partial insight into a company's culture by reading materials on their website or looking up reviews of the company on sites like SEEK or Glassdoor. By learning about the company’s structure and culture, you may be able to find out which skills and experience the employer needs most.
Practice questions and answers
Your success at the job interview will depend on your answers to a wide variety of questions. These questions can range from your early background and education to your personal effectiveness and job skills. It can help to prepare and rehearse answers to these possible questions to make sure you give a good impression:
- What do you know about our company?
- Why did you decide to apply for this job?
- Give an example of a time where you found a solution to a problem, explaining how you did it
- What would you say have been some of your career achievements?
Making a good first impression
First impressions are all important, so put some thought and effort into your appearance. You should dress to create a good impression, arrive early, smile, be polite to everyone you encounter and remain positive and confident.
Dealing with rejection
Unfortunately, rejection is part of the job search process and happens to most people at some time. The main thing is to be prepared and to remain positive about yourself and your prospects.
There are many reasons why your application or approach may have been unsuccessful. It can be worthwhile to ask the employer why you did not get the position (make sure you thank them for their feedback), as this can help you to focus on areas for improvement.
Look on your unsuccessful interviews as learning experiences and keep trying.