10 tips for a successful interview
Anxiety can inevitably set in before an interview. Leigh, a consultant from our Leicester office has put together 10 tips to ensure you have a successful interview.
In my time in recruitment I’ve done too many interviews to even keep track. The most important thing as a candidate is that you’re able to truly stand out from the crowd. Is it cliché? Yes! But always remember: you’re probably the 2000th person that your interviewer has met with in their career – here are some tips that will make them remember you (in a positive way) for years to come.
Know your CV
I have spoken to many candidates who have revised their CV months before an interview, only to forget everything and enter into a complete state of panic when I’ve opened my mouth to say ‘so your CV states that’.
Your CV is the thing that initially made you stand out (it’s what got you the interview). Always read through your CV before an interview, and use it as a tool to expand upon your skills!
Do your research
A few days before your interview, just do a quick Google search of the school. It doesn’t take long and it can provide you with a wealth of questions to ask in your interview. It also shows that you actually have an interest in the school.
We’ve all been there. You’re asked a simple question and you end up basically reciting a small 500 word essay. Always keep your answers clear, informative, and concise – and remember to stay on track. Waffling is just caused by nerves, which leads me to...
The number one thing to remember in any interview is this: they already like you. They already want to see you. Just take a deep breath, answer one question at a time, and as long as you’re prepared, you’ll be successful.
Know what you’re getting yourself into
So many candidates out there just apply for jobs in bulk. They sit down in front of their computer, coffee in hand, and click ‘apply’ on everything they see. As a result, a lot of the time they don’t even know the job description of the position they’re interviewing for! Just make sure you’ve taken the time to read the job description. This also helps you with those tricky nerves because you’ll already be confident that you’re right for the job.
Body language is key
Body language is so important. Remember to keep eye contact, sit up straight, and you’ll naturally appear 10 times more confident (even if you are nervous). For those of you like me who struggle to keep eye contact, just stare at the bridge of their nose when speaking.
If you are too reserved in your interview it can really hinder your chances when it shouldn’t. Your interviewer doesn’t want you to just recite the perfect answers – they want to see how you’d fit into their existing school, and showing off your personality is a fantastic way to do just that.
Dress to impress
Remember that your interview is your first impression, and it’s extremely important that you look the part. If you’re unsure of what to wear for your interview, just call the company a few days before and politely ask what the dress code is. They’ll gladly offer you the information.
Build a rapport
You already know how important it is to be yourself - building rapport and developing a bond is a fantastic way to do this. At the start of the interview, take an interest in your interviewer. How long have they been teaching? Did they have a good weekend? When the time comes for you to ask your own questions, ask them what they like about the school.
Ask solid questions
The one thing that still surprises me to this day is that a lot of candidates just don’t know what questions to ask. This is often a sign of poor research, so I’m sure by following the advice here you’ll be fine, but some examples can be as simple as ‘can you take me through an average day here at the school?’, or even ‘what made my CV stand out from the crowd?’