Three steps to a successful interview

Wouldn't it be fantastic if you had a successful interview every time you went for a job?

Of course it would!

Whether you are going for the job of your dreams or one to tide to you over until a better one comes along, a successful interview generally means being appointed. In other words, success means getting the job.

There are Three Steps to a being successful at interview all of which are covered in detail on this site. Take a look around and you should find all your interview questions answered.

Following these 3 steps will considerably increases your chance of being appointed. It should also give you a few short cuts making sure your preparation is focussed and relevant.

STEP ONE: Is this job right for you?

Firstly you need to analyse why you want the job and whether you can do it.

Being successful means being selective about the jobs you go for.

You might be thinking why would anyone apply for a job they don’t want and can’t do? It does happen, more often than you think. Before you go ahead with your preparation check out our tips to make sure your time, energy, effort and expense isn’t going into applying for a job that is not right for you.

Check out whether this job is right for you by clicking here

STEP TWO: What is the employer looking for?

Throughout this site we will be showing how you can predict the interview questions you may be asked. However before you get down to the nitty-gritty of your answers make sure you read our advice on what employers really want from you.

Having a successful interview means getting into their shoes and seeing the process from their viewpoint. Predicting and then responding to their needs will greatly increase your ability to provide the right answers and with it, your performance.

For more about getting into the interviewers' shoes click here

STEP THREE: Thorough interview preparation

Preparing for an interview takes time and effort, maybe some extra coaching too. This is the key to a successful interview. Most professional interviewers will tell you that many candidates simply haven’t prepared enough or if they have, they fail to give a good account of themselves and render themselves un-appointable (even though they could probably do the job.

An employer cannot afford to take a chance. If they are not sure about you they will move onto the next candidate. Interviewees who have clearly taken time to do their homework, who answer questions openly & confidently, and convince the interviewer they want AND can the job will always do well.

Return to Interview Preparation main page.

HANDLING BAD NEWS: Dealing with rejection

Having a successful interview and getting the job offer is understandably our number one measure of success. It is very important to our confidence, self esteem, reputation, personal development not to mention our bank balance. We invest time and energy into the appointment process and our reward to is get the job we applied for.

Anything less we automatically see as failure. But is it? Can you be rejected but still be successful? We think you can.

Getting rejected comes as a huge blow to the ego. Even for a job we didn’t really want, the shock of rejection can send us reeling.

We feel shocked, numb, upset, hurt and angry. It can hit us hard and dent our confidence. Sometimes we feel like giving up. We feel we will never have a successful interview. It can take a few days to come to terms with the feeling of rejection.

This is where a sense of perspective comes in. It is a disappointment, yes, but it’s not the end of the world. Be positive and don’t let it get you down.

There are worse scenarios. You could have been offered the job and found it was not right for you. We all know people this has happened to. They have a successful interview,take the job, hate it and then stay firmly stuck for years. Maybe the interviewer was shrewder than you think. Maybe they could sense in your answers that you and the job were not a good fit.

At least on this occasion this won’t happen to you. You are still free to find the right job. And it will happen, in its own good time. You will, before too long, have a successful interview

There are lots of reasons why you might not get the job and if you were fully prepared most are not down to you.

Maybe there really was a better candidate on the day. The luck of the draw was against you and you simply couldn’t compete. It may have been down to the rapport you gained, perhaps the chemistry wasn’t right.

If there was a better candidate, one the interviewer preferred, there was little you could have done. You would have struggled to change the outcome even if you had known what you were up against.

Most likely you missed something on the interviewers checklist and weren’t persuasive enough on the day.

If you prepared well you reduce the risk of this happening but there may be something you missed, thought irrelevant and didn’t say or explained or gave the wrong emphasis. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. We can all be wise after the event but going over and over your answers, trying to explain why you were rejected is not going to change anything.

Feedback from interviewers

Many of the people I speak to have sought feedback from the interviewers. Personally this is something I would rather avoid. My experience tells me that I end up with a great sense of injustice & find myself mentally ‘arguing’ with the interviewer for days afterwards. A pointless exercise.

If you want feedback, take it. But bear in mind that feedback is from people who are justifying their decision and who unfortunately don’t really care too much about you. They may be embarrassed about their decision, they may want to be 'kind' to you and sometimes they opt to 'tell it how it is'

It will only be a version of what they thought of you on the day, in that situation and has limited value when you go to the next interview. Their views are unlikely to make you successful at interview as it will be a different job, different employer and a different day

Keep all feedback in perspective, learn anything you can from it and dismiss anything that doesn’t ring true.

Feedback from yourself

This is the most important feedback. Yours! Review why you think it went wrong. Be neutral and objective. Don’t beat yourself up. Be realistic and keep a sense of proportion. Work out what you can learn that will help you have a successful interview next time

This is what I say to my clients who have been rejected and see it as a serious setback.

‘I’m really sorry the work & preparation you put in didn't pay off this time but there will be other doors that will open and when the time is right, you will walk through’.

I believe, everything happens for a reason though we don’t necessarily know what that reason is at the time.

All we know for sure is the job wasn’t right for you. Something better is round the corner and the work you have done will pay off in its own good time.

Feeling successful

Although being successful at interview usually means a job offer they are other ways we can judge our success. With my Coaching Clients another way of measuring success is this.

If you:-

  • Gave a good account of yourself
  • Made your points clearly
  • Made an effort to gain rapport
  • Showed interest and motivation
  • Let your personality shine through
  • And learned from the experience

Then you were successful. Hold your head high. Review your experience and move on. You have given a great interview. So what if the interviewer has made a decision that doesn't include you? You have survived with your reputation in tact ready to face another day.

One day the job of your dreams, the one with your name on, will present itself. In the words of the old fairy tale;

‘You might have to kiss a few frogs before the prince (or princess) will come’. It is the same with jobs!

From Successful Interview to Interview Preparation.