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Recruitment Strategy

How To Ace Your Job Interview: Questions Asked & Our Top Tips

15th August 2022 | by: James Baker
How To Ace Your Job Interview: Questions Asked & Our Top Tips

So, you've got the call for an interview - how exciting! 

But let's face it; interviews can be one of the most stressful events in your life (even if you've attended countless interviews in the past!) 

The stakes are high with such a high reward within your grasp – landing your dream job. 

The thing is, in interviews, the little things are actually the big things. One slip up on an interview question, a poor outfit choice, or a wrong first impression can quickly knock you out of the running and end in disappointment. 

Want to avoid making common interview mistakes, answer questions confidently, and give yourself the best chance of doing well in your job interview? It's all about prep - and lots of it. 

Luckily, we're here to help. If you want to know the best interview techniques for success, get our experience-backed interview tips, and practice answering the most common questions asked in interviews - read on!

Our tip tips for nailing your next job interview

So, what should you do before, during, and after your job interview to make sure you not only make a good impression but a lasting impression and convince your interviewer that you're the right person for the job? 

Here are our best interview tips to get you prepped, set, and ready to charm the pants off your potential new employer.

What to do before your interview

When it comes to interviews, preparation really is key. This is not the time to "just wing it". The more you practise answering interview questions, the more confident you'll come across, and the better your chances of getting hired! 

Do some digging on the company

You'd be surprised how many candidates get stuck on a simple question like "what does our company do?". 

Your interviewer wants to know that you've done your research, so check out the company's history, learn about the industry, and peruse its social media pages for background information. 

Know what you bring to the table

One of our most essential interview tips for the prep stage is to clarify why you're the best candidate for the role. Thoroughly explore all your strengths, skills, and relevant experience and make sure you know why you want the job. 

Get interview questions ready

Not the ones you'll answer (more on that next). Prepare questions to ask your interviewer so that you can understand more about the role, the company, and your possible place in it. 

Remember: Interviewers expect you to ask questions as it tells them you're highly interested in the role - so don't stay mute when they ask if you've any questions for them!

Practice your interviewing skills

Whether it's with a friend, a family member, or a mentor, put yourself in a simulated interview situation, so you can get comfortable answering common interview questions like these examples below:

  • Can you tell me about yourself?

  • Can you talk through your CV?

  • How do you deal with pressure?

  • Do you prefer working alone or with a team?

  • How do you stay organised?

  • How do you deal with conflicts?

  • What salary are you looking for?

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

  • Why did you leave your last job?

  • Why do you want to work here?

  • Why should we choose you for the job?

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

Get your interview outfit on point

Set yourself up for interview success by wearing an outfit you feel comfortable, confident, and capable in, while making sure it's appropriate for the job you're applying for. 

You can usually get a feel for the company's dress code by checking their social media profiles to see what employees wear. If you're not sure, err on the side of formal. 

What to do during your interview

Now you've conquered your interview prep, let's get into the interview techniques you can employ to maximise your chances of nailing this vital stage. 

Listen to each question

Though it can be difficult to focus if you're feeling those dreaded interview nerves kicking in, you must listen carefully to your interviewer to fully understand each question. 

Remember: Asking them to repeat the question or clarify what they mean if you're unsure is better than answering without fully hearing or absorbing the question.

Pause before answering

Before answering every question, think before you speak. It's okay to say, "let me think about that for a second", so you can frame your response with forethought and avoid saying the wrong thing. 

Give specific examples

Try to relate every answer to your interviewer's questions to your specific skills, experience, and qualifications. 

Where possible, highlight your strengths, unique attributes, goals, and past accomplishments to prove you can walk the walk, not just talk the talk. This is your chance to sell yourself and boast (without being cocky) - take it!

Try not to ramble

If you practise your interview skills enough beforehand, rambling shouldn't be a problem. Still, it can be easy to lose track and go off-topic. Try your best to keep your answers on point, related to your experience, and avoid too many unrelated stories. 

Be aware of body language

If a picture says a thousand words, body language says a million - especially in interviews. Your interviewer is picking up so much more than what you say. Check out these tips for excellent interview body language to make a strong impression. 

  • Shake hands firmly 

  • Smile confidently 

  • Make eye contact

  • Sit up straight 

  • Try not to fidget 

  • Don't talk too fast

What to do after your interview

Phew! Your interview is over, and you can finally breathe a sigh of relief, but the work doesn't end here. Now it's time to increase your chances of getting the role with these post-interview tips:

Say thank you

After you leave the interview, email within a day to offer appreciation for the interviewer's time and further express your interest in the role. Sending a thank you note will help keep you in mind and remind the interviewer of your politeness and eagerness. 

Follow up

Your interviewer will typically tell you when you can expect to hear back from them during the recruitment process, but occasionally, you might not get an answer by that time. If this happens, send a check-in email but don't harass them! One email will do. 

Ask for time

If the company has offered you the job, fantastic! Just be sure to give yourself time to think about it, and don't be afraid to ask for it. It's better to make absolutely sure that this is the right next step for you and not rush into anything.

Our final (and best) interview tip: Ask for help!

You don't have to navigate your career alone. Our expert recruitment consultants are here to nurture you from job applications right through to interviews and onboarding. 

At Buchanan Search, we help UK graduates, entry-level workers, and trainees navigate the next step in their professional journeys with helpful advice, attentive support, and ongoing access to the best job opportunities out there. 

Get in touch with us today to carve out your dream career path, step by step. 

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