The 4 essentials of mastering any job interview
More than maybe any other point in modern history, the jobs market is currently extremely competitive – largely due to the economic uncertainty of the coronavirus.
The most recent unemployment rate – for June to August – was 4.5%, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). That is an increase of 0.4% over the previous three months and means that 1.5million people were unemployed in this period. With a second lockdown now confirmed, that number is expected to increase drastically.
So, setting yourself apart from the torrent of good talent in the market at the moment is absolutely key. This means investing fully in every stage of the recruitment process and training yourself on the skills that you’ll need to succeed where others fail.
But what do employers want to hear right now? What are the magic words to get you to the top of their list? According to CEO and business mogul Winston Ibrahim-Minutes, this comes down to four key areas.
Demonstrate chemistry with the employer
What you say is obviously extremely important, however too often people forget that how they say it is just as important. Interviewers aren’t just looking to tick boxes, they’re also looking to feel out the candidate and get a sense of who they are, how engaged they are and how they’ll fit in to the corporate culture. If you appear to be cold, or disengaged, this will significantly dampen your chances of getting the job. Instead, ensure that you’re coming across as enthusiastic and passionate – and that you try to connect with your interviewer. It could make more of a difference than you first believe.
Demonstrate true independent thought
Whilst practising for an interview and trying to anticipate commonly-asked questions is logical, interviewers know if you’re reeling off prepared answers, and it won’t impress them. In fact, to truly stand out from the crowd you must ensure that you’re truly considering their questions and giving insightful answers. They aren’t looking for the most logical answer, they’re looking for your unique take on their questions; they want to see you use your powers of persuasion and digest the information you’re being given. Sometimes, the best answer is the one they weren’t expecting, not the one that ticks all of the pre-conceived boxes.
Truly show that you’re a self-starter
One of the age-old cliches of interviewing is reeling off the same old tired comment about being a ‘self-starter’. However, most people simply aren’t, and this is hardly a secret. So, instead of paying lip service to the concept of being a ‘self-starter’, how do you plan on showing it? You need solid evidence that sets you apart from the crowd. What have you done in the past to evidence that mindset? How have you added value to your company as a result? These are questions that you must answer if you plan on positioning yourself in this light.
Show a deep understanding of expertise
Especially at the moment, businesses are looking for safe hands to handle open vacancies. It’s likely they want to be able to drop someone into a role and have them able to navigate without needing too much handholding. As such, standing out from the crowd means being able to demonstrate an intimate knowledge of the role and its requirements. If you really are the best person for the job, be conscious of its most channelling areas and ensure that you’re hitting these key points. Competency is a mix of knowledge and confidence; knowledge enough to do the job well, and the confidence to carry it out without constantly second-guessing yourself. Ensure that both are visible in the interview.