1: Do not digress from the question asked. Keep it brief and relevant When asked a ‘Tell me about yourself’ question, the tendency is to oversell ourselves however be aware of not talking too long or digressing from the question. What the employer wants to know is how useful and suitable are you for the role not the ins and outs of your daily life or personal history from way back, so keep your answer ‘short and sweet’ or else the interviewee will lose interest and become bored.
2: Good eye contact If faced with one interviewer or a panel remember to give eye contact to all members it demonstrates confidence and creates a good impression.
3: Over gesticulation During an interview gesticulation is sometimes needed but be aware of not using it to cover up nerves or over emphasizing a point. It can be annoying to the interviewer when an interviewee is constantly over gesticulating.
4: Prepare for the interview What do I mean by ‘Prepare for the interview?’ Re-read the job description and specification and ask yourself what sort of person is required for this role. If it is a customer facing role sell all the skills you have which show that you are a people person, that you can build a rapport with customers, and that the customer is valued and important. This requires you to read in between the lines of the job description and have your answer tailored to it.
5: Show keenness and motivation When asking interview questions show keenness to learn new skills and where you may be inexperienced in a particular area demonstrate how your transferable skills fit in with the role. Demonstrate that you are willing to learn, can adapt quickly and complete what’s asked of you. Do not forget, you will be one in a number of people being interviewed for that role so show spark.
6: Self belief, all round skills and experience Self belief is so important as well as all round skills. What do I mean by this? An individual who has a Degree may not be hired over a person who has none. This is because experience is sometimes placed higher than qualifications as employers want someone who can demonstrate a ‘Can do’ practical attitude. So when asked ‘Tell me about yourself’ sell your experiences whether paid or unpaid, as well as relevant work experiences carried out at home/personal life.
7: Reach out So you have applied for a job and were fortunate to have secured an interview. Great! Now you are concerned about your lack of relevant experience of that role and believe you won’t get it. Yes, it is annoying to get selected for an interview then later find out that your transferable skills will not work for that particular interview so what you should do is to speak to someone working in that firm who can tell you not only about the role you’re going for but can answer the questions that are on the personal specification. Their time may be limited however, so let them know you appreciate their time and help. Also, read up about the firm for which you have applied for and make sure you get an all round grasp of what the role entails on a day to day basis. Yes, it is a lot of research but it’ll pay off.
This article has been written by Samantha Elutilo – Qualified & Accredited Career and Confidence Life Coach. If you have found this article useful then please visit http://www.positive-vision.co.uk for an array of useful career and confidence articles, newsletters and e-books that will guide you in your career. If using this article, the author must be credited and acknowledged together with her website.