The other week I made an admission about liking writing CVs, well here is another weird one, I also like interviews. When you think about them they are a bizarre event, two parties saying why they would be great for each other. Perhaps it is the pressure, having to think through scenarios, but something means I enjoy the experience.
What qualifies me to write this? Have I got every job I have interviewed for? No, but I have sat on both sides of the table, had interviews go wrong and others go really well. I wanted to share the things I have learnt, they will not work for everyone.
Before getting into my tips I think it is important to make the point that if you do not get the job do not take it personally. We live in an employers market and this means they can be fussy, rather than not getting a job reflecting on your weaknesses it is more likely to represent the strength of another candidate. Not everyone gets their dream job, so we dust ourselves off and move on.
Now for my top 4 tips:
Preparing for an interview is essential, there are many different techniques that work for people and we have to find what works best for us individually. Things to prepare can include organising your portfolio, showcasing your most relevant work; listing your key qualities and identifying weaknesses, I have seen this preparation go as far as writing out possible interview questions and answers. That may be a bit far for some, however the important point that you walk into the room feeling confident and ready to shine.
Research is a part of preparation but it is so important that it deserves its own tip. There is nothing worse than being in an interview room, asked a question related to the organisation and being unable to answer it, it looks pretty bad as well. Research an organisation as much as possible, learn everything you can about them. The more you learn, the less likely they are to ask (in my experience!) and that is far preferable to not knowing something.
Take research a step forward and make a case study on part of the organisation, for example how they have launched a product. I have seen people have great success with this technique, and even if you do not share it with your interviewer it will help you gain a better understanding of the organisation.
3) Don’t worry about being perfect
As I have said, interviews are bizarre. We may think that the interviewer is expecting perfect answers, the reality is that they are not. You do not have to say the first thing in your head, you can take a moment to think about your answer. Although taking too long can start to look bad!
Interviews are also designed to test you in different ways, for example to see how you react under pressure. Try to remain as unflustered and calm as possible, remember that the interview is all a show, so play it well.
4) Be yourself
We may hear it all the time, but it is true. Do not walk into the interview room pretending to be someone else because that rarely works. I once went to an interview on crutches having fractured my ankle two days before, I had no expectation of getting the job but I felt it was too late to cancel, the result was I entered that room without the nerves or pretence that I might have, and the feedback showed my personality shone through.
- TheEmployable Interview Tips : How to Answer ” What are your salary expectations?” (theemployable.com)
- Interview tips for perfect placements (behindthespin.com)
- Interview preparation 102 (corporateskirts.wordpress.com)
- Job Interview Do’s and Don’ts for Recent PR Grads (prnewsonline.com)
- What to Ask in an Interview (christiannick.wordpress.com)