So you’ve landed yourself a job interview – well done! With high unemployment rates and many candidates vying for each post, it’s an achievement to make it this far. But how can you make sure you don’t fall at the last hurdle and secure that elusive job offer? Here are my top three tips for acing a job interview.
1. Get into sell mode
Don’t expect the facts on your CV to be self-evident. While a CV is usually structured in the visually appealing style of chronological bullet points, you can choose your verbal narrative based on areas that you wish to elaborate on. Tell your story and sell your story – of course, with full integrity and without mis-selling it.
Many interviewers will give you a degree of control over the course of the interview. Take the opportunity to demonstrate that you’ve done some homework on the firm and its business. As in any marketing context, consciously attempt to connect your offering with the advertised description of the job.
2. The medium is the message
Your communication style, clarity of expression and body language all make a disproportionate impact on the interviewer. Technical skills are usually tested at the pre-interview stage. How you present information and how you optimize the time of the interviewer (who will likely conduct dozens of interviews on that same day) will be a key determinant of success.
Your choice of words must display a sense of personal accountability. Someone who describes every negative experience as somebody else’s fault does not inspire confidence. In addition, there must be at least one item on your CV (even if unrelated to the job) that you can display genuine passion for.
Finally, you must be prepared to talk about every item that appears on the CV. A response such as “I don’t recall much about that dissertation from three years ago” is a guaranteed turn-off.
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Author: Lutfey Siddiqi is Adjunct Professor at the Risk Management Institute, National University of Singapore and a Managing Director at UBS Investment bank. He is also a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.
Image: A worker is seen inside an office building in Manchester REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon.