Now that 2016 is here, we are focusing on constructive resolutions for the new year: some people want to overhaul their lives, while others are aiming to step up to the next level or hoping to embark on fresh professional ventures.

If you have decided to move on from your latest job experience, you are looking for a breath of fresh air to boost your enthusiasm or you are seeking a concrete opportunity to enter the world of work, you need to hone your skills and ensure that you are the perfect candidate.

Competition in the market is fierce and getting the contract of your dreams takes more than a good CV and an outstanding background, despite what some people may think.

The first big obstacle that you need to overcome is the job interview.

Countless things have been written and said about this topic, but only rarely do they manage to offer tangible, effective advice that you can draw on in job interviews.

Therefore, we have put together a short list of practical tips to help you to shine in your job interview!


1. Create a sense of empathy

Choosing a new member for a team is not about picking out the candidate that knows all of the right answers. It is about selecting the person that makes the best overall impression on the interviewer. What is the secret to this? Right from the first handshake, it is essential to create a sense of empathy and a cultural connection with them.

WHAT TO DO: Try to turn a traditional, stiff and sterile job interview into a relaxed chat. Help to make the atmosphere less formal by finding things that you have in common with the interviewer so that you can establish a connection with them – social networks can help you with this!

WHAT NOT TO DO: Try not to show any pointless inflexibility or take any unnecessary stands. If there is tension in the air, relieve it with a joke!


2. Show interest

As you sit facing the interviewer, you must be ready to answer the rapid-fire questions. Stay focused and present yourself in a flattering light by adapting your descriptions of your skills to suit the role in question. All of this is important, but you must not remain passive. A real professional must be demanding and show interest in their potential role. From the very beginning, engage in a discussion with the interviewer. Establish a dialogue to drive home the idea that while they are putting you to the test, you are assessing the opportunities that they have to offer.

WHAT TO DO: Find out all about the company, its structure and its activities, then draw up a list of clear, intelligent questions to ask between one topic and the next. You will instantly create the perception that you are bright, motivated and on the ball.

WHAT NOT TO DO: Do not wait to ask your questions until the end of the interview, when you may be prompted to do so by the interviewer. Show that you are proactive and capable of thinking on the spot.


3. Choose the right words

During a job interview, it is not only what you say that is important, but also how you say it. Your choice of words can reveal a lot about your personality. One of the most popular techniques used by interviewers all over the world is asking candidates to talk about their biggest failure and their greatest success. Make sure that you prepare a convincing, well-constructed answer in advance for these two topics, focusing in particular on your delivery. Failure and success involve not just you but also your team, your take on the concept of teamwork and your leadership qualities.

WHAT TO DO: When you are talking about your greatest success, use the word “we” often to show that your whole team shares both the credit and the responsibility for your achievements.

WHAT NOT TO DO: When you discuss your biggest failure, do not lay the blame on external factors. Try to use the pronoun “I” rather than “we” or, worse still, “they”.