How do you introduce yourself in a job interview?
First impressions play a major role in securing a job. In fact, research shows that 33% of employers know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they will hire someone. It is therefore vital that you present yourself in the right way.
Interviews can be extremely exciting, or extremely dreadful. Before your interview, there are several key things you need to consider, and prepare, to ensure you are setting yourself up for success.
- Dress appropriately
Appearance plays an important role when meeting someone new and is ultimately the first thing an employer will notice when you walk through the door.
65% of employers indicate that clothes could be a deciding factor between two almost-identical candidates.
It is a good idea to research the companies dress code before you choose your interview attire. A clinical consultant interview will likely require more formal dress than that of an engineer. Ensure you choose to dress more on the professional side, in an outfit which you feel both comfortable and confident in.
- Brush up on manners and body language
Regardless of what job you are applying for, it is essential that you show good manners throughout the interview. When introduced to your interviewer, give them a firm handshake and remember to smile.
Once you sit down, position yourself so that you are facing your interviewer, with your body, legs, and feet pointing in their direction. This shows you are engaged and prepared to start the interview.
Furthermore, ensure you pay your full attention throughout, with plenty of eye contact.
67% of employers say that failure to make eye contact is a common nonverbal mistake, with it making you look uninterested, disconnected and bored.
- Come prepared and do your research
Many people are often spot on when talking about themselves in an interview, however often struggle when the questions turn to talking about the company itself.
Researching the company prior to an interview will give you the much-needed confidence to answer questions appropriately. It will help you tailor your answers to suit the company’s needs, proving that you are a perfect match for the organisation.
The company’s website is the best place to start, which will hold information such as their mission statement, values, history, and products or services.
Social media sites are also a great way to find out more in-depth information about the company culture; LinkedIn is particularly useful and enables you to see if you have any connections to the company.
- Take the time to practice
Fail to prepare and prepare to fail. Practicing for an interview is essential to ensure you are as prepared as you can be.
CK have written several articles to help you overcome the fear of interview questions including an advice article on how to prepare for dreaded behavioural interview questions.
It’s a good idea to rehearse some questions at home with a family member or friend, asking them for honest, constructive feedback, jotting down notes and practicing as many times as you need. This is a great way to reduce interview stress, sharpen your skills, and increase your confidence.
- Ask plenty of questions
Asking questions shows you are truly interested in the job, and strong appropriate questions show that you have done your research properly. For example, if you are applying for a lab role ask about the techniques they use, and what they are currently investigating.
If you don’t ask questions, you could appear disinterested, or less enthusiastic than other candidates in the running.
Last of all do not forget to send a “Thank You” email once you have had the interview, thanking them for their time and the opportunity of an interview. If you haven’t heard back from them after one to two weeks, send a follow up email asking for feedback. Keep it simple and straight forward, making sure you are friendly and polite rather than pushy. Follow-up emails are a successful indication of your keen interest in the job and assertiveness, traits which any potential employer would want to see.