You have made it through the shortlisting process and been invited to interview for a job you really want.
Success is one step closer. Equally there is still a lot to do to go from job interview to job offer.
The employing organisation is likely to be interviewing around 5 candidates. If there is one job, you have a 20% chance of success.
The odds are not looking so great now. How confident are you feeling?
Reality check – it’s not necessarily the best candidate who gets the job. It’s the candidate who is the best at selling themselves.
Success in selling yourself in the job interview is hugely influenced by what you do ahead of time
The biggest mistake I see among accountants and professionals that I work with is that they totally underestimate the amount of preparation time for a job interview.
In fact 60% give themselves little or no chance of success from my informal research of over 1,000 people.
Of course it’s about being effective in your preparation
Any preparation is better than none. Equally you want your scarce preparation time to be effective.
What this means is getting the balance right between research and doing.
Yes you need to know about the organisation and sector. 20% of your preparation time should be spent on this.
The other 80% needs to be focused on question identification, answers to questions and speaking answers out loud, ideally in a mock interview.
Being hugely nervous is a consequence of not being well prepared
Fact is you will never eliminate nerves. At the same time the degree of nerves and whether they help or hinder you in a job interview is a direct consequence of poor or inadequate preparation.
First impressions matter more than you think
A good interviewer will assess candidates against clear criteria. Sadly few professionals who are interviewing candidates do it often enough to become really good at it.
As a result they are likely to form an impression early on and then spend the rest of the interview looking for evidence to validate that first impression.
Make sure that you have answer the first few questions confidently
It sets the tone for the rest of the interview. So make sure you can answer those typical opening questions really well.
Use examples and stories throughout
Anyone can talk in abstract about skills, experience and qualities. Bring these to life by using lots of stories and examples.
Stay calm whatever is thrown at you
Some interviewers will ramp up the toughness of the questions, especially if they think the person is a really strong candidate.
Don’t get flustered no matter what is thrown at you.
Remember the employer is expecting you to sell yourself
Ultimately from your perspective you want to demonstrate that you are the best person for the role.