Terrified! Excited! Nervous! Anxious! These are just some examples of how most people feel when thinking of their upcoming job interview. This is especially amplified when it has been several years since you’ve been to one. Prospective employers will be able to sense this fear and trepidation and although I’m not saying that you definitely won’t be considered for the job because of this but what if you’re up against a candidate who is prepared and confident in their interview? Who do you think the interviewer will lean more towards? Below I have some tips I believe will help you be confident and prepared.
1. Research the company. Look up the website of the company you want to work for. Pay particular attention to their mission/vision statement. Have a look at their ‘About Us’ page, read previous newsletters. Develop an understanding of their values and look at the type of language they use and incorporate this into your answers. By showing them that you’ve done your research about the company will leave a positive and lasting impression on them. You could also incorporate the research you’ve done towards the end of the interview when they usually ask if you have any questions by perhaps mentioning something that you read in the mission statement and then ask them if they could elaborate.
2. Mock sessions. Prior to the big day do a mock interview or simulation with a friend who’ll pretend to be your prospective employer. Gather some typical interview questions (By using google you’ll come across heaps of sites with hundreds of questions) and practise answering them. If your friend happens to have experience in interviewing they could perhaps critique your answers. If possible, try to video record these mock sessions and when you play them back pay particular attention to your posture, facial expressions (remember to smile and make eye contact) and elocution. The more you practise the more you’ll feel at ease on the day.
3. Practise questions. This relates to the last point when doing your mock interviews. So depending on the sort of job you’re going for, think of what questions you’d most likely be asked, again as mentioned, google can help with this and when doing so be specific as to the industry your prospective job is based. If you know anyone who works in recruitment, H.R. or even in the industry you would like to work in, ask them to listen to your answers and critique them.
4. STAR method. This is an interview technique that most interviewers use to get an idea of how the candidate would perform in a particular situation that is relevant to the job you’re going for. So think about a situation that you’ve encountered previously in your career that required you to take action in order to solve or overcome it. The STAR method is used as follows:
Situation: Present the challenge or situation you encountered.
Task: What did you try to achieve as a result of the situation? What were the issues? What needed to be done?
Action: What did you do exactly? What steps were involved? How did you manage the situation?
Result: What was the outcome? What did you learn from the experience?
By practising this method beforehand will ensure that you look confident and polished and prevent you from umming and aahhing and stumbling over your words as you frantically try to think of what to say.
5. Presentation. Before your interview think about what you’ll wear. Depending on the job you’re going for, generally a classic suit (pants or skirt combo) with a plain blouse will suffice. If you don’t own them now is a good time to purchase it as it can be a great investment for future careers and/or interviews. Or you could borrow from a friend. Please ensure that the clothes fit well and have been recently cleaned and pressed.
6. Prepare the night before. Lay out your clean and pressed clothes, ensure your pantyhose doesn’t have any holes or snags in them (take a spare pair in your handbag just in case) and that your shoes are polished. Ensure you have extra copies of your resume with you and a list of your references as well as a list of answers to possible questions (that you’ve practised beforehand) including the questions you’ll ask them when the time comes. This way you can look over them while you’re waiting to be called in to your interview. Also, make sure that you know the directions to where your interview will be taking place to avoid getting lost and arriving late all breathless and anxious.
By keeping the above tips in mind will ensure that you’re well prepared for your next interview and avoid unnecessary worry. If you don’t get the job you can at least say that you were well prepared for it and it will have been great practise for the next interview that will lead you to your ideal job.
What tips can you add that has helped you in preparing for an interview? Please leave them in the comments below, I would love to hear them.
All the best