Following on from my previous post Applying for jobs: what you need to know, where I talked about tips on job applications and how to find jobs (which if you haven’t checked out then definitely do after this post). I wanted to focus on talking about interviews and share with you all the tips I have learnt from my own experiences or advice other’s have given me throughout the years etc.
How to be successful in an interview!
Everyone is different and by this I mean some people will be nervous (like me) and other’s are more confident. If you are a nervous person like me then it is easy to understand why in this situation because you are wanting to get this job. Therefore, there is all this pressure and you are constantly thinking about not messing up, will they like me, have I done enough preparation and so on.
However, there are some practices you can follow which can build your confidence and help to increase your chances of getting that job after the interview.
You may have heard me mention this previously but it is so important that you research about the company, what their values are, if they have done any work with other companies or even the people that work there.
Researching just helps you build upon that picture but also it will show the person interviewing you that you have looked into their company and you want to work there.
Make sure whilst you are researching to make key notes on a piece of paper or on your laptop/phone and use these to integrate into your answers when you are in that interview. If you want that job you got to work hard for it, and you have to put in that time to prepare.
Researching will also make you feel more confident if you are asked questions about the company because, you can focus on creating your answers around what the company is looking for.
If you have anyone that can help I do recommend that you practice being in an interview. Ask your partner, parent or friend to ask you “typical” interview questions and there are many guides online like this one on Indeed that will help you.
Practicing will get you more familiar with the types of questions that you might be ask, and so you won’t feel thrown off or put on the spot because you have been practicing. In addition, it is a great way to again build up that confidence so you know what to expect.
Not only is practicing great to get your confidence up but it can also help you to improve. For example, your partner (or whoever is asking the questions) can make suggestions if they feel your answer could be better. I know I was practicing with Ryan and I couldn’t think of an answer to a question and so he helped me by giving his perspective. Therefore, you are improving, learning and building that confidence!
I think we all have a general understanding that the dress code is normally smart. However, this could also depend on the job type. Therefore, I always like to check and ask the person what the dress code is so that way I don’t embarrass myself.
I think when choosing what to wear think about an outfit that makes you feel confident and good (of course fitting with the dress code) because, this will improve how you feel and will be one less thing to worry about.
I would also recommend choosing this outfit the night before and setting it out neatly so it is all ready. In the morning you won’t be in a rush to choose an outfit and you can focus on other things you might need to do in your morning routine.
Make a list of what you need
All interviews are different (and of course during this time most interviews will take place over Zoom or Microsoft Teams etc) so just make sure you ask and know what you are required to bring or have if you are interviewing online. If you do forget something you can just say and bring that in another time, but it is important to prepare.
I like to make note of what I would need for example; paper, pens, references, certificates and so on. I then will go through and pack this in my bag the night before so this is one less thing I need to think about in the morning.
Personally I like to get to an interview early. I am not going to lie but in the past I may have got to an interview an hour early before, but I found a local coffee shop and I sat in there to pass some time. Therefore, don’t get there as early as I did but 10-15 minutes early is ok and some might not like it but it is much better than being late.
If you do encounter any problems during your journey or you think you might be late just give the recruiter/employer a ring and let them know. They will respect that things happen and they will understand that, but they will appreciate you letting them know. Plus they can then suggest if need to rearrange or what to do next.
Remember to be positive about yourself and throughout your conversation with the person interviewing. Employers don’t want to be wasting their time with someone that is negative about themselves. They want to see why they should employ you not why they shouldn’t!
I am not saying big yourself up all the time, but if you are asked about a weakness then don’t be negative about it but show how you learned from it. Talk about the experiences and remember it’s ok to make mistakes and have weaknesses because this is how we grow and learn in future jobs.
In addition, don’t be negative about anyone that you have previously worked with it just shows bad taste and that is not someone an employer wants to work with.
Remember to say Thank you
Lastly, after your interview remember to send an email to state your thanks and how grateful you are for the opportunity. This may also give you time to add in anything extra that you feel you have missed out, or ask a question that you may have forgot. But overall, it is just nice to thank someone for their time and giving you that opportunity in the first place.
How to be successful in an interview!
If you do have an interview coming up then good luck and I hope these tips help you in some way! Also remember to make note of anything important during the interview and after so you don’t forget anything that you need to remember!
Do you have any tips for being successful in an interview?
Thanks for reading,
Gemmaa Jayne x