Successful Job Interview Strategies to Get Your Dream Job
The final week of the challenge is here! So far we have built a strong basis of professional competences and skills required in the process of the job search. By now you should be aware of current trends on the job market and practical tools valued by companies. You should know where and how to look for opportunities to increase your chances with both common and alternative methods. Last but definitely not least, you should be your own expert in polishing a compelling CV. The only thing left to overcome is the interview process. This whole week is about getting you ready for this final and essential part! Let’s not lose another minute and become interview pros now!
The interview is probably the most nerve-racking part of the application process, especially if it's your first interview. Some of us can handle them better than others, but even if you are the most confident person out there, you still need to be prepared. Today we will cover some essential tips to help you prepare and perform the best you can in your next interview...
- How to prepare for a job interview
- What to bring to a job interview
- What you should do during a job interview
How to prepare for a job interview
First of all, this is the most crucial part of interview success and a recruiter will always know when someone is not prepared. Follow the steps below to make the best use of your time before the interview.
1. Research the company:
You should have already completed some research on the company that you are interviewing with, otherwise, how do you know you want to work there? It’s more than likely that one of the first questions you will be asked is - “What do you know about the company?” and if you fail to answer this you will be off to a bad start! Completing company research prior to the interview is the best advice we can give you, not only will it help you to perform well in the interview, it will help to determine whether this is the right company for you based on our company size, company culture, company values etc. Browse their website, social media channels, read their press releases, try to find out as much as you can to impress the interviewer!
2. What To Wear:
First impressions count, so it’s important to look well presented when you arrive. In the eyes of the recruiter, they need to be able to picture you in this role, so try to do your best research and find out what the company dress code is. Don’t be afraid to ask the recruiter, they should be more than happy to tell you. Dress appropriately, avoid any clothing with rude slogans, rips, inappropriate cuts etc. Depending on the company, wearing general formal wear such as smart trousers, dresses, shirts and blouses are usually recommended but as we said, there's no harm in asking! It all depends on the company culture and industry.
3. Make Sure You Practice:
Whether you have been to lots of interviews or this is your first interview, we always recommend practising beforehand! This is a great way to test your knowledge of the company and to see which questions you need to work on. Ask a friend or family member to ask you the most common interview questions, ask them to provide feedback on your overall performance. The more questions you practice the better, although some companies may ask more obscure questions than others, it’s more than likely that a couple of the traditional questions will show up too, so be prepared!
4. Plan your journey:
When it comes to figuring out how you will get there, you need to analyse the time it usually takes to get there and the time of the day that the interview will take place. If you will be arriving by public transport, consider buying your tickets beforehand and if you are driving, ask the recruiter if there is any parking available. Always make sure that you leave with more than enough time, this way you can avoid rushing and arriving flustered and panicked, and hopefully, this extra time should cover any unexpected delays along the way.
What to bring to a job interview
Next, it's important that you gather the essential items to bring to your interview. Even if the recruiter says “Just bring yourself!”, it’s better to arrive over prepared to show off your organisational skills and to avoid any unwanted complications!
1. Bottle of water
During these situations, it's always good to have a bottle of water near, you never know when you might experience a nervous dry mouth. Unfortunately, this is something we experience more than expected during interviews and stressful situations so be prepared to stop this from happening.
Extra tip: Sipping from your water bottle between responses can also help to prevent any unwanted silences between their questions and your responses, it gives you a few seconds to think over what you are about to say!
2. Copy of your CV
Arriving at your interview with a copy of your CV is always a great way to show how prepared and organised you are. Even if the recruiter already has a copy of your CV, just showing that you brought one for them is enough to impress.
Extra tip: Sometimes it's a good idea to print off a copy for yourself so that you can quickly glance when you are discussing your experience and skills - this way you won’t forget to mention anything important.
3. Notebook and pens
Bringing a notebook and a couple of pens is essential. We recommend taking notes throughout the interview about the job and company details. By taking notes you will look engaged and it shows your interest in the position and company. We know how stressful interviews can sometimes be and it's a lot easier to write these things down, rather than trying to remember everything.
Extra tip: Don’t take too many notes, you need to keep engaging with the interviewers and maintaining eye contact and good body language throughout.
4. Bag or Briefcase
Bring a briefcase or bag that will keep your documents nice and neat. There's nothing worse than handing over a creased CV to the recruiter, it will look unprofessional. It's also great to have somewhere to store any business cards or other material that the recruiter gives you when you leave the interview.
Extra tip: Make sure your bag or suitcase it small and professional looking. Remember, first impressions count, so keep it simple.
5. Printed directions
This applies to those of you who are attending an interview in a location that you are unfamiliar with. Imagine if you suddenly have some technical difficulties and you are unable to find the location on your phone, at least by having the directions printed you can find your way there the traditional way.
Extra tip: Even try the journey beforehand to make sure everything goes smoothly and so that you arrive without any complications.
6. ID / Passport
The recruiter will usually tell you if you need to bring ID with you. Some companies need ID for security reasons, some to see if you are eligible to work etc. Even if they haven't asked, it's beneficial to take it along with you in case.
Extra tip: It's always handy to have your ID or at least a copy of it spare for if you need to fill out job applications or other documents in the interview, you may be required to provide your passport number etc.
From completing your research on the company, you may have some extra questions you would like to ask - whether this is about the business as a whole or specifically about the role. It's always a good idea to arrive with your questions already prepared, this is one less thing to think about during the interview and will help you to end on a good note. As we mentioned in our Insider Tips, recruiters love it when candidates ask questions; you appear interested, engaged and prepared!
What you should do during a job interview
From our preparation tips, you should be ready to enter the interview room feeling confident, prepared and most importantly, ready to shine! Now that we have talked you through the best research tips and what you need to bring, it’s time to discuss your performance during the interview. By performance, we don’t just mean the answers you provide and the questions you ask, but also how you present yourself to the recruiter.
In order to secure your dream job, it’s time to stop making the following mistakes…
1. Body language
Interviewers can smell fear. They are experts in reading people before they even say anything, so don’t slouch, keep your head up, make enough eye contact to express confidence, and most importantly, remember to smile! Try to keep the hand gestures and fidgeting to a minimum.
The interview is as much for you as it is for them. So make it balanced. Find out things that you want to know, engage in the conversation. Address the interviewer by their name, listen carefully to what they are saying. Do your best to incorporate your knowledge about the company in your answers to show that you are truly engaged in the interview.
3. Be polite
At the end of the interview, provide them with a firm handshake, this is something that a recruiter almost always looks out for. Thank the recruiter for their time. This will win you some bonus points and show how well you were engaged. We also recommend sending a thank you note after the interview, it shows your appreciation for their time.
As long as you are qualified, prepared, engaged and you demonstrate your motivation and desire, you should have no problem securing your dream job. Now that we have shared our key preparation and performance tips for the standard interview, it's time to prepare for other interview styles... stay tuned for tomorrow's useful tips which will prepare you for tough interview questions!
Oct 26, 2020 by The ELJ Team
great....simple n useful
posted by NAJEEB
posted by Kundan
Well researched guide for interviews - mistakes to note and many more
posted by Pedzisai
I've never really understood the concept of a 'firm handshake'. I really wonder what the standard is, as what is considered firm to some might be regarded as aggressive or overly confident to others. I wonder if there really is a 'one size fits all' in this small but significant gesture.
posted by Daniel
Is it me or recruiters never reply to thank you emails? Are they a waste of time and energy?
Maybe a coincidence but, I never sent a thank you email to my interviewers in my previous jobs. Now that I send them, I don't get replies, neither the job
posted by Carlos
Thank you for the question! Writing a thank you e-mail after an interview, is never a waste of time. Even if the Recruiter does not answer (maybe because they don't have any relevant information to share yet) it is always nice to receive this and will help them remember you. Hope these blogs help you with your search!
Thanks for the answer!
Best page ever!Super easy to find great opportunities. Hope is gonna take me to a nice city where I can show my best.
posted by Marina
Another great article to help us, thank you very much!
posted by Mi
posted by Moroni
If you want to succeed Europe Language Job is the wright place to be.
Great tips and advices have always been a great start for the job you have looking for.
posted by Zlatko
Your guidance is just perfect
posted by Soumi
There are many reasons why Summer is the perfect time to search for a job. Although the workplace tends to be slower, your summer job search should not stop!
If working abroad is on your mind (especially if you're a German speaker), Greece is your destination! Companies are hiring and great conditions are being offered to those willing to relocate.