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How not to fail your next job interview

Published on: Sep 17, 2015

As you head into an interview, it’s natural to feel slightly nervous and maybe even a bit anxious. There is a simple solution to using these nerves to your advantage and it all stems down to your level of preparedness. An interview is your opportunity to put your best foot forward and demonstrate why you are the best candidate for the role.

To avoid failing your next job interview, here are some tips to help you prepare:

Do your research

Before going into an interview, it’s important to take the time to find out information about the company. Often you might get asked in an interview, ‘why do you want to work here?'. This is your chance to demonstrate the initiative you have taken to research the company, including its goals, recent projects that have been announced and the company culture.

One aspect hiring managers look for in a new hire is their enthusiasm towards the role and the company. Businesses are eager to hire employees who share their vision and values; someone who is interested in coming to work for more than just remuneration and to add value.

Know what you want to say

To avoid getting tongue-tied during the interview, take the time beforehand to prepare your responses to common interview questions. Some examples include:

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What are your main weaknesses?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years' time?

While many people get concerned about answering technical questions, instead it‘s important to highlight your key skills, achievements, and ambitions. The point of interview questions is for the interviewer to learn more about you – whether you will be successful and if you are the right fit. By preparing your answers ahead of time you will be able to respond to the interview questions without feeling nervous.

Be conscious of your body language

Even if you say the right words, how you present yourself both verbally and non-verbally will have an impact on the success of the interview. A lot of the body language movements you make are subconscious and often can come from nervousness. To avoid these inadvertent gestures, make a conscious effort to sit up straight, keep eye-contact, and respond with enthusiasm. These are all mannerisms that will place you as a memorable and well-presented candidate that they would want to hire.

Ask questions

Asking questions in an interview gives you an opportunity to set yourself apart from other applicants and find out answers to any questions that may not have been covered so far. A few good questions to ask are:

  • What is the culture of the company like?
  • Why does the role exist and where does it fit in?
  • How is performance measured?

Asking questions gives you the ability to find more out more about the role and whether the company culture is the right fit for you, demonstrating your interest in the job.

As challenging and nerve-racking as a job interview can be, if you are prepared you will find yourself less anxious when entering an interview. It shouldn’t be a daunting experience; in fact, it is an opportunity for you to find out if the job is the right fit for you. By taking the time to prepare you are setting yourself up for success.

Author: Robert Half