How to succeed in a job interview? As a recruitment consultant for nearly 5 years, I interviewed many candidates on a daily basis. The more and more people that I met, the better and faster I became at being able to tell if they were likely to be successful in a job interview.
I wondered what it was that these candidates were doing, and I realised that the key ingredient was attitude. Most often, it didn’t even matter if a candidate had the right amount of experience if they had an excellent attitude.
So what is this attitude that interviewers are really looking for? And how can you show that you have it?
Being positive – How to succeed in a job interview?
In a job interview, being positive doesn’t mean that everything is rainbows and butterflies, and that you sit there smiling the entire way through, but that you see the bright side of every situation. Even when things look as though they have gone wrong, you believe they can always be fixed or that there was at least something to learn. You see the glass half full, not half empty!
Confidence – How to succeed in a job interview?
Confidence is key to your ability to perform in a job interview, just as it is within all aspects of life. Confidence is the belief in yourself, that you are worthy and valuable. Your confidence in the job interview will reflect that you believe you are worthy of this job.
Confidence is almost entirely reflected in your behaviour and body language. It’s in the firm handshake that you give, the strong eye contact that you make, your tone of voice, and not just what you say but HOW you say it.
Energetic – How to succeed in a job interview?
Your energy level is so important in the job interview because it reflects your general level of energy and your interest in the job position. Energy can also translate in motivation and efficiency and is quite contagious, so if you have a high level of positive energy, your interviewers will feel this and may take on this energy too.
The reason why companies are often interested in people who play sports or have active hobbies is because this they want this kind of high level energy in their workplace and most successful people are active too.
Friendly and open – How to succeed in a job interview?
It’s important to remember that companies don’t just hire for skills, they hire for people and people do impact on team dynamics and company culture.
Sometimes we get so caught up in thinking about our skills that we come across as quite tense or serious rather than friendly and relaxed. Whilst the job interview is a professional environment where you are being assessed for your skills, the interviewers are consciously and subconsciously trying to see through what’s beneath that, because they want to work with people that they actually like to be around.
That’s why in a job interview they will often ask “What you like to do in your spare time” as well as “What would colleagues or friends say about you?”, but often the traits of your character come out unintendedly in the job interview anyway in your body language, the remarks you make, your facial expressions, your tone of voice etc.
That is why it is so important to have the right attitude in general. So before your job interview, take a deep breath, try to relax and smile.
Eager to learn – How to succeed in a job interview?
This is a particularly important point for those who are just starting out in their career and don’t have so much experience to draw upon in a job interview.
If you don’t have much experience, then really need to show your eagerness to learn. You can do this through showing excitement for the job position and literally saying “I’m really eager to learn”. You can also add, “This will be new for me, but I’m really excited about everything that I’m going to learn and can’t wait to start”. You also need to show your openness to receiving constructive feedback, so whenever the interviewer is explaining something to you, nod your head to show that you are really listening and if they give you any kind of feedback, make sure you take it well.
Being Adaptable and Mouldable – How to succeed in a job interview?
Being adaptable and mouldable is important because it means that regardless of what experience you have already had, you will still be able to adapt to this new company’s way of doing things. Sometimes this is why companies actually prefer people with less experience, because they haven’t already been moulded into a particular way of thinking or working. They don’t have pre-conceived notions about how other companies work so they are more open to the working style they are given.
You may be given a behavioural question related to your adaptability or flexibility so you can use an example to demonstrate this. You should use examples that reflect some that changes you have experienced in past positions and describe how you handled them, such as changes to your job responsibilities, managers, working conditions or locations.
For example, “In my most recent role, the company went through a re-structure and down sized on the number of staff by 30%. As a result my responsibilities increased dramatically but I took it as a good opportunity to develop my prioritisation skills and work ethic”. Now, not only have you shown that you are adaptable and flexible but that you know how to prioritise and you have a strong work ethic!