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Interview Preparation

Careers Advice

14 December

Tips to Improve Interview Performance

Congratulations on getting to the interview stage, now it’s time for the real work to begin. No matter what position you’re applying for you will need to prepare for an interview and O’Neill & Brennan have put together some key points for you to succeed in getting hired for the job.

 

Preparation and research

Research the company so you can go into your interview with a strong understanding of the requirements of the job and how you will be a great fit. Researching the company and role thoroughly will help you to have an edge over your competition as well as being able to show a good level of knowledge to the employer. This will demonstrate how interested and invested you are in a career there.

 

Practise interview questions

Practicing common interview questions is a great way to prepare for an interview. Take note of your skills and accomplishments and think about how you can incorporate these points into your answers to prove that you can be a great addition to the company. When researching the questions, make sure to focus on the specific role, skills or industry. For example, if you're interviewing for a management position, you may want to focus on some questions that test your leadership skills, besides questions about primary duties in that role. It is also important to prepare for difficult questions too so you don’t get caught off guard.

Common interview questions may include:

  • "Tell me about yourself."
  • "Why do you want to move on from your current role?"
  • "Why do you want to work for this company?"
  • "What would you say are your key strengths?"
  • "What would you describe as your main weaknesses?" 

 

Stock up on examples for competency-based questions

Most job interviews will expect you to answer a series of competency-based questions. The employer will ask you to describe a real-life instance where you demonstrated a particular skill or behaviour. Have a think about the key qualities, experience and skills mentioned in the job description, and plan out 5-10 real-life examples that you can share in the interview. Use the STAR method to tell the stories with a clear Situation, Task, Action and Result.

 

 

Ask questions of your own

Part of knowing how to interview is being ready to ask questions of your own that demonstrate an interest in what goes on in the company. Asking questions also gives you the opportunity to find out if this is the right place for you. The best questions come from listening to what you're asked during the interview and asking for additional information.

Present your best self

It goes without saying if you want to make a good first impression and be hired for the job it’s important to present your very best self. Start by putting your phone on silent, there’s nothing more unprofessional than having a phone ringing, buzzing or beeping during an interview.

Whilst being confident is important, it’s equally as important to not be too cocky. The last thing you want to portray is that you’re difficult or unpleasant to work with. The same goes with being too familiar. After all you are a candidate looking for a job, not an old friend.

Putting a little bit of effort into your appearance takes almost no time at all but results in a refined, well-thought-out presentation that also leaves you feeling more confident about meeting your interviewer for the first time.

It is important to plan your journey ahead of time. Determine where your interview is located, how long it will take to get there and what mode of transportation will be the most convenient. Having your travel planned out can ensure you arrive on time, reduce anxiety and demonstrate your professionalism and time management abilities. Make sure to give yourself lots of time to get to your interview, even if it means arriving very early.

Good luck! You’ve got this!

 

O’NEILL & BRENNAN

Sourcing the Talent to Build the Future

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