My top 5 tips for interview success

Aoife Hynes 17.06.2015

From starting my fitness career at the age of 12, coaching gymnastics and spending 8 years working in the health and fitness industry, I have dealt with a lot of different people from numerous backgrounds.

From the gym to the interview room, it is interesting to witness how people react when faced with adversity and how they can have a complete change of state when they encounter an unfamiliar challenge. A strong confident person can suddenly become weak and equally a quiet uncertain individual can show strengths that would never be identified at first glance. We all have weaknesses and strengths, and often the most difficult challenge is in identifying them.

Most people find interviewing for a new role extremely challenging. You want to come across in the best possible light without being overly confident or coming across as ‘cocky’.

My top five tips when interviewing are:

Be confident

Try not to let nerves shadow your ability. It is important to show your strengths while interviewing. The worst thing you can do is to attend an interview focused on your negative points. Be proud of you experience, skills and character and use the interview as an opportunity to show them off. Give examples to back up every skill you have. By focusing on the positives, you will have minimal emphasis placed on the negatives, without actually having to be deceptive.

Be honest

Make sure to be honest. After all you hope to be working with these people, eventually the truth will come out. When you are asked a direct question, answer it directly, honestly and with a smile, without losing your composure or getting defensive.

Be prepared

Preparation is key. Know the company you are interviewing for. Know the company’s core values. Try to find out who you will be meeting with and if possible do some research on the interviewers prior to the interview. Know your own CV and be familiar with the job specifications and have lots of key relevant examples.   

Sell yourself

If you have been called to interview, it is for a reason. The company have identified a need for a new employee, someone that matches your profile.  They already like what they have seen on your CV, so this is your chance to sell yourself and reassure them that you are the person they need. Try to identify any problems the company may be facing and offer solutions by providing examples of when you have solved similar problems in the past.  

Be aware of body language

While waiting and throughout the interview be mindful of your body language. Avoid hunching your shoulders or tucking your chin into your chest, which will make you seem closed off. Sit with your back straight and your chest open. (Don't take this to the extreme!) Elongating your legs or throwing your arm across the back of the chair can make you appear too comfortable, even arrogant. Try to acknowledge people around you and smile. If someone at reception gives you their name, use this when leaving the reception area. At the end of the interview, gather your belongings calmly, rise smoothly and smile. If shaking hands with everyone in the room isn't convenient, at least shake hands with the hiring manager and the person who brought you to the interview space.

Check out our new Career Ally Hub which includes our interview simulator which takes you through commonly asked questions in written and audio formats. 

At Morgan McKinley we can provide you with interview prep that can help you to secure your perfect role. If you would like to talk to me or any of my colleagues about potential opportunities, contact our specialised consultants who can give you expert guidance.

Aoife Hynes's picture
Team Lead | Supply Chain & Procurement
aoifehynes@morganmckinley.ie