Phillip Riley’s Top Interview Tips

Before the interview:

● Always prepare for the interview by researching the company, their current projects, mission statement and values, looking at the position description if provided, and looking into the people who will be running the interview.
● Prepare answers for common but deceptively difficult questions including “Tell me about yourself,” and “Why do you want to work for our company?”
● Prepare intelligent and thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview and ensure you stay on topic
● Dress appropriately for the position for which you are interviewing. Take care not to over- or under-dress, and do not be afraid to add a pop of colour to your outfit; this can help interviewers remember you.
● For video interviews, double-check all your equipment/technology to ensure it is working at least half an hour before the interview time.
● Remember that virtual/video interviews are still formal interviews; you must dress professionally, make eye contact with your interviewer, remove distractions from the room and keep background noise to a minimum.

 

During the interview:

● Arrive at the interview location around 15 minutes early, take a short time to gather your thoughts and relax, then enter the building around 5 minutes before the interview to notify the company you have arrived.
● Your interview begins the moment you walk in the building; ensure you look presentable and that your belongings are orderly. Do not enter with headphones on, or whilst chewing gum.
● The company receptionist or office manager will likely be asked their impression of you, so ensure you are polite and professional.
● Always accept offers of water; if you need a moment to think during an interview, you can take a sip while you consider the question.
● Don’t say you know a program, process or term that you don’t; you will get caught out. Instead, say it would be a new skill for you, one which you’re eager to learn.
● When given an opportunity to ask questions, ask the interviewer why the position is available, and what the turnover is like.
● When conducting a virtual interview, use a laptop or desktop where possible; you may find it difficult to hold a phone steady for video chatting, and computer speakers are generally higher quality. You’ll also ensure that the interviewer can see your face clearly.
● Listen closely to the questions you are asked, and answer them directly; try not to ramble or over-answer the questions, and try not to talk ‘at’ the interviewer, but ‘to’ them.

 

After the interview:

● Send a follow-up email to your interviewer to thank them for their time, and acknowledge your continued interest in the position.
● Consider asking the interviewer for their feedback on your interview skills; you may be able to learn where you need to improve, and where you’re hitting the marks.
● Reflect on the interview; note which questions you found to be difficult, and learn to resolve them for your next interview.
● Try to relax! Nothing you can do now will change the outcome of your interview.

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