I’ve had a lot of people ask me for help with landing a job and I find myself pretty much saying the same few tips every time. These tips aren’t in any order and they haven’t been verified by some top CEO or anything so don’t hold me accountable, this is just what has always worked for me and actually worked well for a few others as well. Here are my best interview tips, enjoy;
Interview Tips #1 – CV
My number one interview tip is don’t stress over your CV, I have handed in my CV from when I was 16 with no experience to an employer while I was 21. This CV was crap and outdated but when they called me I was in complete control of the conversation and I got the job, which I then turned down (I know right.)
To be blunt, no one really cares what’s on your CV, 99% of the time the employer just wants to ask you questions based on your CV so they can get you talking and see what you’re really like.
Interview Tips #2 – Recommendation/Referral
If your friend has the job you want, or works in the company you would love to work for – ask for a recommendation. You might get one or two interview from fifty applications but you’ll get one interview from one referral.
It’s a no-brainer really, obviously I get that you might not know that many people but with social media nowadays, you can easily get to know someone in any company anywhere in the world. LinkedIn is the obvious one but still not many people use it, search for the company you want to work for and invite some of the people to connect with you, send them a message, get the conversation going online and before you know it you’ll be sitting down with a manager being interviewed. Don’t forget, you can even do this on Facebook/Twitter.
Interview Tips #3 – Know Who Will Be Interviewing You
This might seem a little weird but trust me it helps so much. Usually you will have a phone conversation with someone in the company before you have an interview. When on the phone, make sure you ask who it will be that will be interviewing you. If they ask why, just say it’s because you want to remember their name so you don’t forget it during the interview or any other silly excuse to get them to tell you. Once you have their name, Google them, have a look at them, see what their position is etc. Many times when I’ve asked who will be interviewing me, they just tell me everything I need to know; “Oh it’s James Allard who will be interviewing you, he’s the managing director of the company, he likes to meet all new people himself.”
Interview Tips #4 – Don’t Outshine The Person Interviewing You
Knowing what position they are will tell you how they will dress, if you find out the one interviewing you is “one of the trainers” chances are they aren’t going to be dressed that well so don’t go in your best suit and keep the colorful socks at home. If you hear it’s the Managing Director interviewing you, look sharp and on point – just minus the Rolex.
The moment you outshine the person interviewing you, the interview is in your control and they feel nervous. They’ll start to feel like you are a threat to them and chances are they will end up trying to find whatever excuse they can to not hire you. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen many times.
Interview Tips #5 – Do Your Research On The Company
What ever you do, don’t ask them to explain their company. Whoever’s interviewing will love talking about their company but they’ll hate having to explain it to you. Go on Google and write down some interesting things you have seen online about their company. Ask them about it and you’ll be in their good books. You can find out everything you need to know about the company online. The more you know, the more you can talk about their company, it will impress the interviewer and show them that you are actually really keen to get the role as opposed to someone who just wants a job.
Interview Tips #6 – Hand Shake
When you meet the person interviewing you, give them a strong firm handshake. It does not really matter if you are nervous or not, just jump up out of your seat and shake their hand with the biggest smile you can. I love handshaking people, especially if I can initiate the hand shake. If you initiate the hand shake and then do a stronger/firmer hand shake that the person interviewing you, you have now just completely asserted your dominance over that person.
Interview Tips #7 – Sit Up & Respond
Don’t slouch, I have literally not hired over 50 people simply because they slouched during their interview . Just don’t do it. Sit up straight and acknowledge what the person is saying, and if they pause for a second, speak! The more you can speak the better. When I’m being interviewed, I talk more than the person interviewing me. It shows confidence & interest. Ask as many informed questions as you can and make sure whenever they say a statement that they think is interesting for example; “After many years of struggling we finally became number 1 in the UK”, I’d respond with; “Wow, is that in the whole industry?”
Interview Tips #8 – Never Ask…
1. How Long Will This Take? – Shows you have something more important to do.
2. What Does Your Company Do? – Tells the employer that you aren’t bothered to go and research.
3. When Can I Take My Holidays? – Shows you are more interested in taking time off.
4. Did I get the job? – Puts the interviewer on the spot and makes you look impatient.
5. How Did I Do? – Shows a complete lack of confidence.
6. What is the salary for this position? – Wait until you have the job before discussing how much pay you are going to get.
7. How long would I have to wait to get promoted? – Shows you don’t care about the current job role.
Interview Tips #9 – Always Ask Assumptive Questions
Make sure when the interviewer says to you, ‘Do you have any questions for me?’ – ask something! Make sure you obviously steer clear from the above questions but probably worse than all of those questions is to not ask anything at all. I’ve seen candidates stand up before the interviews even over, it makes the interviewer feel like you are not really that interested and either don’t want the job or just want any job.
I always ask about if I’m the top performing employee, what can I earn, and if there any bonuses or trips available for employee of the month. I also always ask what do I have to do to get into the position they are in. One of my favorite subjects to ask about is the training structure and how it works, is it a trial and error based system or a shadowing system. All of these questions show the employer that I’m confident I already have the job and that I’m interested in doing well in the role.
Interview Tips #10 – On Your Way Out
Give them another firm handshake, a smile and say,
See you soon.