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Interview with Excellence - Expert Insights from Unify’s Consultants

Going through an interview process can be both exciting and daunting, whether you are on your first job hunt or a seasoned professional. In today’s competitive market, it’s not just about what is on your CV - it’s about how you present yourself and communicate your value. 

In this guide, our knowledgeable consultants have compiled essential tips to help you navigate interviews with confidence. From making impactful first impressions to effectively articulating your strengths, each strategy will enhance your interview game and equip you with the tools to stand out from the crowd!

 1. First Impressions Are Key

Greet your interviewer with a smile and confident handshake. Maintain strong eye contact to convey attentiveness and engagement. Utilise the transition from reception to the interview room for friendly small talk, showcasing your positive attitude. Take the opportunity to demonstrate your strengths and enthusiasm, as the first 30 seconds are crucial towards shaping the interviewer’s perception of your fit for the team. Make every moment count!

2. Be Strategically Prepared

Before stepping into the interview room, invest time in preparation. Re-read your CV meticulously and familiarise yourself with the job description, if available. Do your research thoroughly, look at the company website or obtain literature. Be prepared to discuss salary expectations by researching industry standards.

Create insightful and thought-provoking questions to ask during the interview, aiming to gain an understanding of the role and company culture. Consider questions such as:

  • “What are the most important qualities you are looking for in a candidate?”
  • “If I were successful in this interview, are there specific areas you recommend I focus on improving?”

3. Deliver Clear and Confident Responses

Answer questions clearly and coherently. Take a moment to gather your thoughts if needed, rather than rushing into a response you may later regret. It is perfectly acceptable to briefly pause and consider your answer thoughtfully. Be precise and ensure that your responses are articulate and well-considered.

4. Why Should They Hire You?

When prompted to explain why you are the ideal candidate, use the qualities highlighted in the job description as a guide. Use real life examples and refer to your previous professional experiences. Aim to present at least three strong points that outline your suitability and the value you will bring to the team.

5. Be Positive

During the interview, be positive and refrain from talking negatively about your current or past colleagues. Your interviewer is assessing not only your qualifications but also your attitude. Showcase your enthusiasm for challenges and demonstrated a proactive mindset. Interviewers are drawn to candidates that exude positivity and genuine eagerness for new opportunities.

6. Maximise Nonverbal Communication

Body language is a powerful communicator. Avoid closed stances e.g. folding your arms, leaning back, or looking to the floor. Use purposeful hand gestures and lean forward when emphasising key points. Prepare in advance to leave a lasting impression on your interviewer.

7. Expect the Unexpected

Employers often pose challenging questions to assess your adaptability. While it’s impossible to anticipate every curveball, maintain a composed demeanour and be in control of the situation. If faced with a difficult question like, “How would your colleagues describe you?” aim to respond confidently. If needed, politely ask for clarification but avoid dodging the question. Demonstrating grace under pressure outlines your professionalism.

8. Develop Rapport

Bring energy and a genuine sense of humour to the table, accompanied by a smile. A positive demeanour and enthusiasm are infectious. Show interest in your interviewer’s experiences and the company’s current endeavours by asking thoughtful questions. Building rapport not only highlights your interpersonal skills but also sets the stage for a meaningful conversation.   

9. Seek Clarity and Address Uncertainty with Confidence  

If a question seems unclear, do not hesitate to request clarification. Towards the end of the interview, ask if there is any additional information needed. Do not shy away from asking about the expected timeline for feedback. Clear communication demonstrates your commitment to understanding and addressing their needs.

10. Demonstrate Appreciation & Interest

Express genuine interest in the company and the role during the interview. Take the initiative to articulate why you are excited about the opportunity. Request a business card for follow-up purposes and afterwards send a thoughtful “thank-you” email. This expresses your appreciation for the meeting and reiterates your enthusiasm for the position. Take this chance to highlight the unique strengths and advantages that you bring to the table.