Ace Your Next Interview with These Simple Steps
There is so much information on the web discussing the dos and don’ts of interviews that it is easy to get lost in a seemingly endless vortex of advice!
MET Marketing have waded through a sea of articles from Thirsk to Timbuctoo and combined the ideas presented in each with our own extensive industry knowledge to give you a valuable insight into what it takes to perfect your interviewing technique.
First Impressions Count
“You’ll never get a second chance to make a great first impression.” We’ve all heard this age-old line before. Whether it’s your interviewer or a stranger at a party, a firm impression of you, your character and your personality will be formed all within the first 60 seconds of meeting you.
Never undervalue the importance of first impressions as they play such a vital role in how we view one-another. Whether it’s addressing the cleaner, receptionist or interviewer be positive and professional from the first moment you walk into the office to the last and put your best foot forward at all times. Remember, you won’t get a second chance to make a great first impression!
Wear Appropriate Clothing
For every marketing and digital role, be it a Head of Marketing position at a blue chip corporation or an SEO assistant at a small I.T firm it is important to dress smart and professional. A good rule of thumb is to always dress one stage up from the dress code of the business you are interviewing for. For instance if you are applying for a role at local marketing agency they may have a smart casual dress code, but as you are portraying yourself in your best light you may be better to wear a suit unless otherwise instructed by the company themselves.
The rules are slightly different if you are interviewing for a creative role, but it is still a good idea to err on the side of caution. While traditionally a creative interview will be less formal, meaning a stiff suit is probably excessive, at the same time trainers and shorts are definitely unacceptable. Try taking a contemporary twist on a classic outfit to demonstrate you are both creative and classy and remember that less is more, without being naked! The same applies for accessories, a nice watch will suffice and ensure you aren’t going to offend or distract the interviewer with what you are wearing.
Body Language & Positivity
Body language has a huge impact on the way others perceive you. Be confident and open at all times during your interview. Maintaining eye contact with your interviewer or interviewing panel indicates that you are trustworthy and honest, good posture and a strong but not overbearing handshake will certainly go a long way with everyone you meet and having an engaging, conversational tone and demeanour will see the hiring manager warm to you during the course of the interview.
Adversely, steer clear of any potentially negative sticking points when answering questions. Did you not leave on the best of terms from your last job and are still slating your previous employer at every turn? Were there colleagues in your last office that you couldn’t stand the thought of seeing every day and having to work with? Are you a Digital Marketing Executive but absolute loath having to produce content for blogs? These grievances may all be true, but the interview stage of the hiring process is definitely not the place to air these concerns, so make sure you keep the conversation positive and don’t forgot to show your sense of humour and warmth. Interviewing is an interaction between people like any other and positivity is infectious, showing enthusiasm during your interview will highlight your passion for the role and is likely to convince the interviewer that you would be a good cultural fit in the business.
If you come from a more technical background you may think bombarding the interviewer with technical jargon is going to impress and show your extensive industry knowledge, but in reality it is only going to alienate the very person who will decide whether or not you are hired if they have little or no idea what you are talking about. When describing your previous work experience and credentials always be mindful of using accessible language and examples. This is not the same as dumbing yourself down however, as Einstein famously said “make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler”. A handy tip for all the PHP Developers, Graphic Designers and UX Specialists out there!
Preparation is Key
In the days leading up to your interview it’s vital that you prepare thorough answers to the most common interview questions you’re likely to face during the interview. But as we discuss in conquering the 50 most common Interview questions it is not simply enough to prepare a set of answers for the interview. You must practice, practice, and practice these answers and research the company comprehensively to give yourself every chance of acing the interview.
After you have blown the interviewer away with your impressive responses to all their questions you will be given a further chance to set yourself apart from the rest of the applicants with a question of your own, read these 7 questions to WOW the interviewer and you will be sure to end the interview on a high. (I wanted to use a home-run baseball reference here but I know I’m band from Americanisms so if you have anything better please add in).
Send A Thank You Note
Sending an email to your recruitment consultant to pass on to the interviewer shortly after the interview not only shows gratitude but will gently remind the hiring manager of your passion for the job, which can’t hurt your chances of landing the role and could even lead to other opportunities further down the line if you don’t get this job. After all, if you performed great in the interview then you can be safe in the knowledge that the hiring manager is going to want to keep you in mind for future roles. It may simply be the case that this time round someone was better suited to the position than yourself. Which may not be the case next time around!
These 6 steps are so simple to implement that there really is no reason for you not to do so. What differentiates those that get the job to those that do not is the ability to hone these skills to the point where they are seamless and highly effective. Master these simple steps and practice these interview questions and you will ace your next interview, it’s as simple as that!