Five top tips to interview like a Spartan

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Interviews don’t have to be as daunting as they may seem.

Interviewers are there to find the right person for a position within their company, so treat the experience as an opportunity to show a potential employer your accomplishments, skills and understanding of the role with confidence.

There will always be a degree of pressure to perform well in an interview – whether it’s pressure from someone else, or pressure you put on yourself - and it’s normal to feel nervous. The important thing is to stay calm. Answer questions well, ask good questions in response and be friendly and professional. Here are some words of advice to impress the interviewer and land that dream role!

  • Before the interview: Your goal is to impress the interviewer, show that you would be able to do the job well and are the right candidate for the opportunity. Therefore it is important that you have a good understanding of what the role entails and what the company does. Preparation is key – the phrase “if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail” is especially true for interviews! You will come across as mature, professional and committed about the opportunity if you do your research. Read, understand and memorise the job specification – but don’t stop there. Why not explore the company website and do wider research too, read articles on the company, look at awards they have been put forward for and see how they are involved with the wider community.

 

  • At the beginning of the interview: Be approachable. Have a strong handshake and make good eye contact. Introduce yourself well and always tailor your answers on your experiences and skills to the role and how you would be the perfect fit. An interview is a conversation about yourself and how you are the right person for the role and the company – walk in with this mindset and you will feel far more relaxed and at ease.

 

  • During the interview: To really stand out you need to show that you have a thorough understanding of the role you would be doing and what the company does. Use your research and incorporate it naturally in your answers. Explain what the role entails and what the company does, give practical examples of other work experiences that are similar to the tasks you would be doing in the new role. For example, for a Business Analyst position, talk about experiences you’ve had communicating business ideas to your team and persuading them to implement them. This shows that you have strong communication skills. For a technical role like a Software Engineer, talk about the programming languages you have taught yourself to show that you have a natural curiosity for coding and problem solving. What will REALLY impress the interviewer is if you understand the skills and competencies required for the role and give examples of how you can implement them in different scenarios. Think about the competencies that they would assess you on and give examples of times where you have showed these competencies at university, work, events or any other relevant situation.  

 

  • During the interview: Be personable and professional throughout. Show that you have a greater understanding of the environment and nature of the role. Have a good understanding of the tasks you would enjoy and the tasks that you would find challenging. Get along with the interviewer. The interviewer needs to see that as well as being able to do the job, you would be able to get along with colleagues, suit the environment of the company and settle in in the long term.

 

  • At the end of the interview: While answering questions well is important, asking good questions will also make a good impact. Use this time to ask any questions you have about the role and company to show that you are inquisitive and keen on the opportunity. For example, what you would be doing on a day to day basis? What would your weekly schedule look like? How can you progress within the company?  Never underestimate the impact of showing you are serious about the opportunity and about your career. Thank the interviewer for their time and for considering you for the opportunity and tell them that you are very interested in the role. Start on a polite note, and finish on the same.

Good luck!

This blog was written by Thu-Ha Hong, Sparta Global Talent Coordinator