Nailing the job in your first Interview

Securing a job at the first interview is not impossible. Most employers will require a series of interviews before making their ultimate hiring decision, however many candidates fall at the very first hurdle. You only have one chance to make a first impression and here is how to ride the wave to success.

Nailing the job in your first Interview

Imagine an actor walking on stage without having rehearsed their lines or a sports star taking the field having had no practice. Impossible to imagine. The same applies to job interviews. Successfully landing the job is a culmination of preparation and planning, most of which must be done before you enter the interview room.

Above and beyond the basics of being well groomed, dressed appropriately and arriving early for the interview, here are 6 essential steps:

1) Preparation

Practice interview questions with others: this is an essential confidence builder. Even seasoned interviewees can easily be thrown off guard. Practice and preparation will produce confidence and effectiveness.

2) Know the Company & Know the Role

Research the company. Key people – CEO, Department Head, future Direct Line Manager etc. Understand where the company sits within its sector e.g. market share, key competitors and latest news announcements.

Understand the role itself. This is essential for demonstrating how your skills and experiences are a great match for their requirements.

3) Be Positive and Friendly

Pre-interview nerves can affect anyone so remember to stay friendly at all times. It is not unusual for an interviewer to ask the receptionist how you were upon arrival or departure. Remember, the fellow commuter who pushed past you on the train that morning might just end up being your interviewer!

4) Listen Carefully, Answer Concisely

Specifically address the questions asked and keep responses to the point. Be thorough but avoid waffling. Asking questions back can also show interest plus allow crucial moments to gather your thoughts in the ‘heat’ of the interview process.

5) Have Questions Prepared

Have a selection of questions in mind before the interview. Avoid anything that can easily be found out via an internet search. Make the questions relevant to the role – future or goal orientated – to demonstrate your market knowledge and interest in the sector, company and role.

6) Ask About Next Steps & Follow Up

It has been known for people to miss out on being hired simply because they did not ask to be! As the interview draws to a close enquire about the next steps. Does the interviewer need anything else from you at this stage? What are the likely timescales for hearing from them? Does the interviewer feel your skills match the requirements? Willingness, desire and proactivity will be welcomed by the interviewer.

Follow up with a call or email the same day if possible. Directly address the interviewer(s). Express thanks and highlight briefly how you believe to be an excellent hire. Finish with an expression of desire to take the role.

If you successfully deliver the above points you will present yourself as a prepared, credible and skilled candidate. It’s a great feeling leaving the interview knowing that you gave your absolute best to secure that dream job!

Good luck with your search and your next career move!