How to Impress at a Job Interview

If there’s one thing that job seekers have in common, it’s feeling anxious before a job interview. In a study carried out by employee screening company JDP, 93% of people admitted to experiencing job interview anxiety.

Here at The CV Guru, we want to help you feel empowered about the whole job application process, including the interview round. That’s why we’ve partnered with expert coaches LeighAnne Jordan and Nel Flint to help you impress employers at your next interview. Read on for Nel and LeighAnne’s top tips for securing your dream role.

Change your mindset

We can’t erase all of your job interview anxiety with a few magic words, but you can adjust your attitude towards this stage of the application process. Instead of focusing on how daunting you find the interview, think of it as a sign that the recruiters are interested in hiring you.

Nel says:

“Congratulate yourself for getting an interview – this means that the hiring manager already thinks you’re capable of doing the job. People forget this and immediately start panicking about the interview; giving yourself that acknowledgement is a massive confidence boost!”

Research the role

The key to a successful job interview is preparation, and the first step is to learn as much as you can about the role beforehand. Nel recommends finding out the following information before the interview:

  •       What have the organisation posted on LinkedIn lately?
  •       What information have they put on their website?
  •       Who will be carrying out the interview?

If you know who’s going to be interviewing you, it’s a good idea to look them up on LinkedIn – you can use the incognito function if you prefer.

Next, think about what you can bring to the role. Nel says:

“Look at the job description and think about scenarios and evidence that align your skills & experience to the role. Then, use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) or PAR (Problem, Action, Solution) method to answer any competency-based questions. Many people forget about the all-important result, so ensure you give tangible examples such as statistics as part of your examples.”

Think about the most common questions

Every job interview is different, but there are some core questions you should expect. While something like “Tell me about yourself” might seem obvious, it’s beneficial to rehearse an answer ahead of time so that your nerves don’t get the better of you on the day.

LeighAnne says that this is the best chance to make a positive impression on employers:

“Practice your introduction – this is going to be your first chance to make an impression. Having a well-rehearsed answer to ‘Tell me about yourself’, that covers where you are in your career and gives a short insight to who you are on a personal level (without oversharing) will start the interview off well.”

Here are two other questions that LeighAnne recommends preparing for in advance:

  •       “What is important to you in both your role and the workplace?” This gives a clear indicator of suitability for the role in question. For example, “Flexible working opportunities are key” or “I need to know that as an organisation you align to your values”.
  •       “Why should we hire you?” If this is the role you want, you will have done your research and know exactly why you want it. Don’t be shy – share your motivations with the interviewer!

You should also think about the way that you speak when you practice these answers. Do you stumble over your words or use a lot of filler phrases? This could affect the impression you make on employers.

Nel recommends listening to yourself to hear how you sound to others:

“Practice your intro and answers in front of a mirror or record yourself and watch it back. It’s horrible to listen to, but it gets you to work out when you use filler words and when you sound nervous!”

Ask questions

Finally, make sure you get a chance to put forward your own queries.

As Nell summarises:

“Have some questions prepared to ask at the end. Remember an interview is for you to find out if YOU want the job too.”

Some key topics to find out about could be:

  • The company culture
  • Your opportunities for progression
  • The team that you would be working alongside if you were successful in getting the job.

If there were any gaps in the job description, now is the chance to answer any questions that you have about the position.

We hope that this blog has helped alleviate some of the pre-job interview anxiety that you might be feeling. At the CV Guru, we understand that the interview stage is a key part of the application process, and often the most daunting.

Working in collaboration with Nel, LeighAnne and presentation skills coach Kyle Murtagh, we offer one-to-one sessions with practical advice that will build your confidence ahead of job interviews. 

Find out more about our interview coaching services and begin your journey to securing your dream role.