How to Thrive in Your Interview

As it is a New Year, it brings new starts. We have had a huge increase in our staff as our business is growing. And as a result have had interviews taking place almost every single day since opening again in 2015. We get a lot of new applicants and students interviewing and trying to get into the property business and because of this, thought it would be a good idea for our future generation to gain some vital information on interviewing. As we all know an interview is your chance to shine and makes or breaks your chance for that future job! Below are some great tips for anyone preparing themselves for an interview.

Currently, around 40% of graduates are still unemployed 6 months after their graduation. Which means that around 60% of students that have graduated from university have found employment within 6 months after graduating. However, this doesn’t mean that they are getting the jobs they are entitled too due to their higher education. Statistics from April to June 2013 states that 31 million people (men between 21 and 64, or women between 21 and 59) were unemployed. 12 million of these people held qualifications that were higher than A-level standard (Graduates). As the amount of competition for jobs is increasing, it is becoming vital that you understand and handle interviewing well to increase your chances of employment against your competitors. An example of this is that low cost recruitment companies like Hiring People place ads on hundreds of job boards and there could be hundreds of thousands of people applying for these positions, so you need to make every effort to make yourself standout from the crowd with both your CV and interview.

Hiring managers will assess you from the minute they meet you till the minute you leave, whether or not you are ready is down to you. Crucial to your first impression will be the attire you choose to wear. 70% of employers claim that they don’t want someone that is too ‘fashionable’ and a further 65% claim that clothes can be a deciding factor between two similar contenders. So for your interviews in the future, be sure to dress smart, and find the balance between fashionable and functional. Also, as a rule of thumb – avoid bright colors when dressing for your interview. Also, remember to wear something which is appropriate to the role at hand as what is expected will vary from a law firm to a small independent business.

Keep in mind, first impressions do last. When talking to your interviewer be sure to be polite, make sure you stay focused and express your interest in the position. It can deter you from being hired if you lose focus and come across as uninterested in the job you’re applying for. Whilst your appearance is key, so are your opinions; words and the way you execute them. Statistics show that 38% of hiring managers feel that first impressions can be determined from the quality of your voice, grammar and confidence. Make sure to project your voice and show confidence and belief in the words you are saying. If you answer their questions with little enthusiasm you may come across as not that interested.

We asked Rebecca Hersey the HR Coordinator for Tunbridge Well and Dartford law firm in Kent Thomson Snell and Passmore “What is the first and most important thing you look for in an interviewee?” and she said “We want to see a commitment to achieving high standards, whatever level you’re at, for yourself and for the firm. That’s very important to us – a lot of our reputation is founded on our high standards and client service. The legal market is changing rapidly; the successful lawyer in today’s market has a long term interest in the client and not just the shorter term ‘matter’ so we look for a broad perspective early on in someone’s career.“

Non-verbal communications can be a common hiccup for those of you who are less experienced in the interviewing scenario, with a startling number of 67% of people forgetting to make eye contact – a basic but vital sign of courtesy. Common mistakes like these can make those competing with you for a job superior to you. Non-verbal communications can be hard to master, as nerves set in it can become easy to fall victim to your habits such as fidgeting, which 33% of candidates do ‘too much’. One of the final things you might be judged on, but speaks volumes to certain people, will be your handshake. According to statistics 26% of candidates have a weak handshake. Although this isn’t a clear form of communication – it can leave a lasting impression on some people.

We also asked Rebecca “If you could offer one piece of advice to someone going into an interview, what would it be ?” to which she replied “Do your research. Know the company you are applying to and be able to say why you would like to join that particular company in the role you are applying for. “ This same advice applies very much to us as well. It is never a bad thing to stun your interviewer by what you know about the company and the field you decide to go down!

To recap; the most important things to bare in mind when you approach and go through the interview process are to wear sensible clothes, speak clearly and confidently – while simultaneously choosing grammatical ways to articulate yourself. Finally, remember the basics in your body language, smile, make eye contact and be polite, if you keep these basics in mind you are more likely to have a successful interview and are less likely to fall victim to mistakes that are common from candidates.