Ok, so I’m not bragging to be an expert here, but the idea for this post just cropped to mind after recently landing my dream job. I know many of you have just recently finished University or College and thought this could provide some pretty helpful advice on how to prepare for job interviews.
It’s all down to good preparation.
Follow these steps and I’d say you stand a pretty good chance of landing that job!
1. Seek out a job you can do and actually want to do
This sounds silly I know, but if you’re clearly under qualified or uninterested in the job itself, it’ll show in interview.
2. Research about what the job might entail
For online applications a job description or person specification are usually provided. Think of ways in which you would be able to demonstrate competence of this in your interview.
3. Research the company you are applying to and learn their ethos and values
This shows great interest to your employer that you have interest in working with them and also gives you an insight as to whether it is a company you want to actually work for. If you don’t believe in their work ethos and values, then it’s not somewhere you should work!
4. Research job questions relating to the post you are applying for.
This again will give you some insight as to what the job will entail and give you opportunity to research and brush up on any shady areas of knowledge. Also, if you know fellow people in the industry already, ask them what they would expect from you and what you may be asked at interview.
5. Wear formal but comfortable clothing.
Personally, I would only wear one ‘bold’ coloured item if possible (as not to cause distraction) and try on your planned interview outfit a few days prior to ensure you’re comfortable. Last minute outfit stress can then easily be avoided!
6. Plan your journey
And have a back up journey plan in the case of unexpected delays or disruption!
7. Ensure you leave plenty of time to get to interview
I usually give myself an extra 30 minutes on top of expected travel time to allow for any cancellations or delays that occur. If you end up there early, this will just show eagerness and good time keeping skills!
8. Memorise the name of the person you need to speak with on arrival.
To avoid embarrassing yourself from the get go..!
9. Always shake hands, smile and introduce yourself clearly and confidently.
10. Be aware of your body language and ensure you sit upright in the chair they guide you to and keep good eye contact.
I tend to sit with one leg comfortably crossed over the other with my hands resting clasped in my lap (optional, but for me it helps avoid nervous fidgeting!)
11. If they offer you a glass of water, take it.
Unless specified, you may not know how long the interview will be and your mouth will dry out much quicker from being nervous causing you to stumble on words!
12. When you are asked a question, take a couple of seconds to think about the question you have been asked and answer as thoroughly as you can using proper English.
If you’re not entirely sure of what is being asked, ask them to repeat it – it’s better than misinterpreting and answering the question completely wrong!
13. If you need to ask them questions at the end
Make the first one about the company in a way that shows you are interested in working for them. A good example could be about what possible career development is available once in post, then more general questions if needed.
14. Most employers ask about pre-booked holidays and amount of leave you are entitled to take, but if they don’t or if it’s not asked – tell them!
You don’t want them getting mad when you try taking a 2 week holiday a month after you start!
15. Ask when you will expect to hear from them and ask for feedback if you are not successful so you can make improvements for next time.
16. Again, being aware of your body language and end the interview with a smile, a handshake and an ‘I look forward to hearing from you’
17. Remain in professional manner until you have completely left the work site.
You don’t want to be taking post-interview selfies as soon as you get out the building just to be seen by the deputy head of IT… (just an example).
18. Keep your phone available to you and not on silent until they contact you – or whatever method it is they will contact you on.
And that’s all there is to it!
I wish anyone going through job applications and interviews all the luck with their applications. I hope these 18 tips will help you in some way in preparing and nailing your interviews.
I am NO recruitment expert, but I DO have vast experience in job applications and interviews and feel doing these steps will honestly give you the greatest chance in being successful.
Till next time!