Interview tips to land your dream job from a HR expert
Looking to land your dream job in 2023? While interviewing for a job can seem daunting, interviewing is actually a skill and one that you can improve and hone with a bit of preparation and guidance.
So you’ve found your dream job and have been invited for an interview. To make sure you have the best chance of landing the role you want, we’ve quizzed Vida Glow’s Director Of People and Culture, Clare Hogarth, for her best interview tips. Here she covers everything from interview preparation to exactly what questions to ask in an interview situation.
Plus, we ask Clare how to prepare for a job interview when returning from extend time off like maternity or parental leave. Get ready to take notes!
1. Do your research
One common mistake people often make is turning up to the job interview without researching the company. Having the skills to do the job is not enough. I always ask candidates “what do you know about Vida Glow” and I love hearing that someone has put in the effort to research us.
Before attending an interview, look on the company website and find out about the history of the company, what products and services they provide and what the vision and values are.
You need to go into the interview knowing as much as you can about the company and how your own values align with the company values.
2. Plan your travel
Well before the day of your interview, plan on how you are going to get to there, where you need to park and how long it takes to get there. Being on time is so important and could throw-off the interview if you are late.
Allow extra time if something does not go to plan. For example, ] I fell over just before my interview at Vida Glow and broke my finger. I had allowed myself plenty of time so luckily I wasn’t late and had time to compose myself. You never know what might happen!
3. Study your CV
Read the job ad and job description for the role that you are applying for and think about how the tasks and responsibilities relates to your experience and skills. Spend time before the interview studying your own resume and think about the projects you have been involved in and what made those projects successful.
4. Avoid talking about past gripes or negative experiences
Another mistake people can make is talking about past employers (including managers) in a negative way. Before the interview, think about why you left previous roles and put a positive spin on the reason.
5. Use open body language
Be positive and enthusiastic in the interview and let your personality shine through. Make eye contact and keep your body language open. I love connecting with a candidate as part of the process. Culture fit for the company is just as important as the candidate’s ability to do the job.
6. Overcome nerves with role play
Interviews can be nerve wracking. Being prepared (and taking a few deep breaths) is the best way to overcome those nerves. If you can, practice some interview questions with a family member or friend. Role playing can help remove some of the nerves and is also a good way to get some feedback.
Just remember that you have been invited to the interview as the employer already feels that you have relevant experience for the role
7. Have a list of questions ready to ask in your interview
It’s important to have a few questions to ask at the end of the interview. Make sure you have a list of more questions just in case some of them have already been answered. Asking questions shows the interviewer that you prepared for the interview and also helps you understand more about the role and company. Some good questions to ask in an interview are:
- What are your expectations for me in this role?
- How do you measure success in this role?
- What will my first 30/60/90 days look like?
- What are the biggest challenges I might face in this role?
- Can you tell me about the team I will be working with?
- What’s your favourite part about working here?
- What does the onboarding and training process look like?
- Do you have any reservations about my experience and the role
8. Make notes after the interview
At the end of the interview, it’s always good to ask the interviewer what the next steps of the process are. Then, once you get home write some notes of what was asked and what you learnt. This will be helpful for if you go through to a second-round interview. Write down the names of the interviewers and anything that can help you connect next time you speak to them.
9. Follow up the interview with an email
After the interview, if you decide this is a job you want, it is always worth emailing the interviewer to say thank you for the opportunity within 24 hours of the interview. I love receiving an email from the candidate after the interview. It shows me how eager and thoughtful the candidate is.
10. 4 tips for returning to the workforce after some time off like parental leave
- Firstly be confident and proud of yourself for having the time off. You managed to balance personal and professional priorities so be proud of that.
- Research the industries you are applying for roles in. This will show that you are up to date with current industry trends.
- Think about enrolling in some short courses before you return to work if you have been out of the workforce for a long time. This will help you to freshen up your skills and show the interviewer how eager you are. You may also gain some experience with new technology.
- Make sure you update your resume and focus on the skills you have that are transferrable. Also spend some time updating your profile on LinkedIn and make some new connections. Many companies look at a candidate’s profile on LinkedIn so it is good to keep it up to date and relevant.