Five ways to wow at your next job interview
Kirsty McLaren is a Director of McLaren Associates – a recruitment firm who specialises in not-for-profit recruiting throughout New Zealand. Over the years, Kirsty has interviewed many jobseekers. In this article she outlines five great ways you can standout, nail your next job interview, and land that dream job! Here goes:
#1. Do your homework
We can’t stress enough how big of a difference it makes when a candidate comes to an interview with a good grasp on the position description and the organisation they are interviewing for. Even the simple task of going to the employer’s website prior to your interview and familiarising yourself with the information available there will set you apart from others. You don’t have to come in being an expert, but doing your homework shows a lot of initiative. Don’t forget to check their social media accounts too!
#2. Be genuine
This follows on nicely from doing your homework. A candidate who displays a genuine interest in the role or the organisation is straight away going to stand out. We’re humans, we naturally gravitate towards others that share our interests. If you are only applying for the job because you need to be paid, and you couldn’t care less about what the organisation actually does, that’s going to show throughout your interview. The people who really impress are the ones who are there for the right reasons, not just for a pay-check.
#3. Dress the part
You would think by now that dressing appropriately for a job interview would be common sense right? But perhaps the issue lies with people’s definition of what “appropriate” actually is. We want to see your personal style, but we also expect to see that you have made an effort. Even if this is just the first interview of many, it is still important to dress the part. If you are not sure of the dress code, don’t be afraid to ask. But even if it is a very casual setting, we still highly recommend going business-casual, clean and tidy. Not sure what “business-casual” is? Let Google show you the way! [Check out this post for example: What Does Business Casual Attire Mean?]
#4. Have a positive attitude
Going through the job-hunting process is exhausting, and sometimes the reasons behind your job-hunt are not exactly uplifting or encouraging. The reality is you typically get 45 minutes to an hour to impress, and bringing anything less than a positive attitude with you is going to leave a dark cloud hanging over the impression you make. Even if you are having the worst day of your life, or are trying to leave the job from hell, your interview is not the appropriate place to air your grievances. If you really don’t think you are up to it, reschedule. A positive attitude will always stand out at an interview.
#5. Remember that ALL contact matters
Think you only have to make a good impression on the people across from you at the interview table? Wrong! Successful candidates are the ones who make an effort with everyone they come into contact with throughout the process – from the person coordinating the interview to the one who greets you on arrival. It doesn’t matter what part they play in the organisation or whether you are interacting in person, over the phone or via email, treat everyone like the possible Hiring Manager. Having a great interview is not going to matter if word gets back that you were rude to the receptionist – so treat everyone with respect!
Thanks so much to Kirsty for sharing her insights, and we hope they help you wow at your next job interview! Feel free to add a comment below if you have any questions or feedback.
You can also read more insights from Kirsty in this Q+A blog about job references.