Job Interview Tips
So you’ve applied for a job and now they have called you for an interview, what next? Well, firstly congratulate yourself on making it through to the interview stage. This isn’t a given and it means the employer has decided you meet all the criteria needed for the role. They were obviously impressed with your application or CV and now they want to meet you in person. However, for many of us an interview is a daunting prospect and it can be difficult to know what to do next. To help you get prepared and aced that interview, here’s our Top 10 Tips to Ace that Interview.
#1: Ask about the Interview
When you are contacted about the interview you will be asked to confirm your attendance. Use this opportunity to ask your contact anything you need to know about the interview. Great things to ask about are; what format the interview will take, who will be on the panel, and do you need to bring anything on the day. This will help you in two ways; firstly the more you know about the process the less nervous you will feel, and secondly the more information you have the better you can prepare.
#2: Do Your Research
One of the biggest mistakes people make at any type of interview is being under prepared. Use everything you know about the role and the interview process to prepare yourself for the day. Good areas to research are; the employer, the area of work, who will be on the interview panel, and the interview format – if you are unfamiliar with it.
#3: Leave Time to Prepare
Every interview is different and depending on the type of role you will need plenty of time to prepare. Don’t leave all your prep to the last minute as you will be selling yourself short. Instead take between 3-5 days to fully prepare, this includes; doing your research, preparing answers, organising something to wear, and arranging transport.
#4: Dress to Impress
Depending on the type of role you are interviewing there may be an expected dress code. It is always worth checking with the HR department of the employer just in case. If there is no dress code then a good rule of thumb is to dress how you would normally dress if you were actually in the job but slightly smarter. So if you are going for a catering job, make sure your hair and clothes are neat and your hands are clean.
#5: Be Presentable
Something that can easily put interviews off is an unwanted odour. It might sound a little harsh, but if someone walks into an interview and they have a strong smell of cigarettes, alcohol or body odour, it can instantly put a panel off. That’s not to say it would ruin your chances completely, but don’t run the risk of a bad smell being the only thing an interviewer can think about.
#6: Rehearse Your Answers
Based on the job description try to think of 5-10 questions you are likely to be asked at the interview, as well as common questions about team work and time management. Think about what you are going to say, and even write your answers down. If you are feeling particularly nervous a great tip is to rehearse you answers out loud with a friend or in front of a mirror.
#7: Think Positively
If you felt a bit surprised that you have even been offered an interview, you might also be thinking that you don’t stand much of a chance of getting the job. Having a negative attitude from the start isn’t going to help with your interview performance. Just remember at an interview everybody has exactly the same opportunity, you have just as much chance of getting the job as any other applicant.
#8: Accept Your Nerves
Most people feel very nervous about interviews, for a lot of people they don’t even know if they will feel nervous or not until they are actually in the interview. Don’t feel embarrassed about your nerves, understand that everyone gets nervous and that employers and interviewers are used to seeing nervous applicants. Instead try to think of ways to minimize your nerves if and when they appear, like making a joke about being nervous, taking deep breaths or drinking some herbal tea.
#9: Always Ask a Question
At the end of almost every interview you will be asked if you have any questions. Always ask at least one question and make it a good one. This question is your chance to add extra value to your interview – plans a few questions to ask before the interview, don’t try to think of one on the spot as you might be too nervous. Ask a question that shows your intelligence and that you have really thought about the role. Avoid asking anything about salary, time off, parking spaces, etc. as it is almost always not the right time to do so.
#10: Arrive Early
Always avoid being late for interviews, its one of the worst things an interviewee can do. Aim to arrive around 20 minutes before the interview time you have been given. Make sure that you have allowed yourself plenty of time to get there and to park or find the building if you don’t already know exactly where you are going.