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How to perform your best in interviews

Today, for many roles, technical competency is considered a given. Increasingly, it’s your soft skills that will make you stand out from the crowd. Landing an interview is a win in itself. It shows the company is willing to invest it’s time and resources in you. But the next step is to actually win that role. So, what are some key ways you can do that? 

Building on your personal brand

Think about what you want to project within the interview. What you want to reinforce, what messages and feelings you want to leave the interviewer with. Personal brand is built up over time and is a combination of your online presence, your CV, the interactions you have and the interview.

Mindset – How our thinking influence performance

Our mindset and thinking are key to being able to confidently leverage the opportunity in an interview.  It influences our language, our confidence, about what makes us a valuable prospect. If we arrive with a fixed mindset, we are likely to demonstrate a lack of positive energy about how we can add value.

It is natural to bring a level of nervous energy into an interview because it is a situation that can potentially illicit a stress response in our brains. As a result, we can forget what we intended to say, or at worst, draw a blank. Be human – own it, ask for time to consider your response.

Some questions may also feel uncomfortable. Stay calm and focused and respond confidently and with a growth mindset. This tells a potential employer that you haven’t stopped learning and there is still room to grow.  Ahead of the interview – take time out to do something that makes you feel good, breathing is great and works on mind and body.

Building trust

Building trust throughout the process is achieved by being authentic through the various stages. In an interview, it is about three things:

Credibility

What we say is important.

  • Reliability – there is consistency between words and actions;
  • Intimacy – the personal connection you form.

Active listening is also essential to building trust and it starts with having a clear intention to listen. It means paying attention, and demonstrating your understanding of the information through acknowledging and paraphrasing.  Keep questions relevant and appropriate.

Effective preparation

To really maximise the opportunity of your interview, show the interviewer that you have really prepared. Do your research on the company, the industry, the role and go the extra mile.

Ensure you have put thought into specific examples that you are proud of and clear about.

  • What makes you excellent?
  • Why do you want the role?

Think about what you might ask the interviewer.

  • Why is the role is available?
  • What are the current initiatives the company is working on that you may be contributing to?
  • How would they describe the culture?

When responding to their questions, be clear and confident. Aim to “Say it once and Say it well” to ensure you maintain the attention of your interviewer. Make sure your responses are:

  • Relevant – tailored as much as possible to their needs. Why is your skill gong to help them achieve their objectives?
  • Clear – You deliver responses that are very easy to understand and your messaging doesn’t create confusion or doubt.
  • Brief – Include one strong example and good evidence of your achievement or capability and then stop.
  • Demonstrate confidence and engagement through your positive body language, your eye contact, handshake, posture, personal presentation. If you arrive nervous, take a minute as you wait to breathe and be present.
  • As the interview ends, thank the interviewer for their time and the opportunity. Ask for feedback and leave confident that you have done your best.

As always, we can assist you with any accounting/finance recruitment needs in your business on either a temporary or a permanent basis. Get in touch with us today.

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