Interviews are always daunting. No one walks into them without some degree of nervousness. Confidence is the key, but so is good preparation. Sometimes, it’s also necessary to stand out. If you want your next interview to go smoothly, here are five tips to reflect on and follow.
- Get an industry certification
You’d be surprised by how many people apply for a job without an industry certification or qualification to stand out. You might get an interview, but if you’re up against candidates with bettercertifications, you’ll struggle to get the job offer.
You see, experience and results are great, but if you combine these with a qualification or certification they become doubly powerful. Certifications such as the PRINCE2® Foundation & Practitioner will demonstrate you have an in-depth knowledge and skills to apply PRINCE2 methodology for effective project management, which willdrastically enhance your chances for any positions in Project Management domain.
The same rules apply for any otherprofessional certificationsyou take. Interviewers find industry certifications relevant and increasingly mark the holding of particular certifications as a mandatory criteria in their job advertisements. Certifications are also a touchpoint for the interviewer to remember you by. Get certifiedand you’ll stand out from the crowd.
- Tell me about yourself
Most job interviews start with the question “tell me about yourself” and most candidates fumble their way through it. This is the part where you givethe interviewer your name, age, where you live and your marital status, right? Wrong!Is this the part where you rehash your CV? Nope! This is the part where you focus on what it is about you that makes you a good fit for the job.It’s the part where you relate the job to you.
Your aim here is to give the interviewer everything they need to remember why you are suitable for the job. For example, they might conclude:Sarah has a strong background in project management, is empathetic and prides herself on results. Her strength is in teamwork and getting individuals to work together.
- Research the company
There’s no finer way to not get a job than being unable to answer basic questions about acompany’s purpose and history. It stinks of poor preparation and it’s very difficult to recover from. Sometimes it’s impossible as failure to plan, is a plan to fail.
An interviewer may ask you how you perceive the company’s place in the market, what customers expect from the brand, or something as simple as when wasthe company founded? Answer these right and you’ll nail this stage of the interview – and the good news is that everything can be researched beforehand.
- Avoid short answers
One of the biggest mistakes candidates make in job interviews is answering questions with one liners. If you say “no, not really” in response to a question he or she may conclude you don’t care about the subject in question.
Try and elaborate on your first thought of yes or no. Explain why it is a “yes”, “no” or “maybe” and you’ll give the interviewer something to chew on.
- Be prepared for those questions
It is not uncommon for interviewers to ask a very odd question. They do this to catch you out and see how quickly you can recover.
Preparation for this is difficult because you never know what they are going to ask. Do you believe in bigfoot? If you were 90, what would you tell your children? These kind of questions stump 99% of candidates. The good news is being in the 1% that rock them is perfectly possible. Just be calculated.
Do you believe in bigfoot?“Life is full of unexplained phenomena, I believe nothing should be discounted without good evidence to the contrary.” That would be a great answer. It shows you are open-minded and don’t jump to conclusions. If that were a professional job interview, you’d make a good impression.
Lastly and in summary, embrace the experience, be confident, ensure you have done your research and don’t forget to make a list of your own questions about the role and firm too!