I was chatting to a friend the other day who is currently looking for a new job, having previously worked as a recruitment consultant for the Education sector I have performed more interviews than I have been too. So clearly I am an expert on the matter…. We chatted about the things I think are important and I thought that it just might be of interest to y’all.
Working in recruitment was a comforting experience in a way, any nervous feelings I have about going into an interview are pretty much gone, and after all, the interviewer is a person just like you. They go home at night, feed their families, scrub their showers, and pick up after their dog…. (You get the point) they are nothing to be afraid of.
They want you to do well and want you to be a success. It’s all about finding the right fit. The right fit for you and the potential employer!
Even though I know a few things about interviews it doesn’t mean I haven’t been on the receiving end of those awkward phone calls telling me I have been unsuccessful, they would however like to keep my resume on file just in case something more suited comes up (oldest trick in the book, put a positive spin on the fact you have just been shut down)
It’s important to remember that finding a new job is a numbers game, keep at it and keep applying. Don’t let your confidence be shut down just because the potential employer of your dream job doesn’t see how fantastic you are. That job may not have worked out but another will. I promise!
Most of us want a job that we enjoy, a role that challenges and helps us develop and grow, go into your interview asking what this position can offer you and how is it the right fit for your life style.
With that in mind I have listed some tips to help you nail your interview.
First impressions count when it comes to job interviews, be sure to present yourself immaculately. This will vary from job to job, for example if you are applying for a job in fashion, you will want to look the part. On the other hand if you are going for a corporate job, its office wear for you my friend. I am working on a post especially designed for what to wear to an interview so stay tuned!
Google the company and know exactly what it is they do, look at the website and any social media pages and soak up as much as you can. Take a copy of your resume and any relevant documentation with you, firstly it gives you something to do with your nervous hands and it also shows initiative. The rule of thumb is to talk about salary on the second interview, most employers will bring it up on their own but if they don’t the second interview is where this is usually done. I recommend going onto the Fair Gov website and finding the award/agreement recommended for your line of work, this will give you a starting point of what you can ask for and expect as reasonable.
Get there with plenty of time to spare.
Figure out how you will get there either via car or public transport. If driving, figure out ahead of time where it is that you are going to park, do you need coins for a parking metre? I always recommend aiming to arrive half an hour early in case of last minute hold ups. I only go into the actual interview location no more than 10 minutes ahead of the scheduled time. Punctuality is good but too early is annoying.
Being punctual can also come in handy if the employer has scheduled back to back interviews, you may just get a sneak peak at your competition.
Have a few ready planned answers up your sleeve as back up.
No one knows what you are going to be asked but generally they will be based around things like
– Tell us a little bit about yourself- Talk about past or current employment experience.
– What point of difference can you bring to this position?
– Can you tell me a time when you showed initiative/ resolved conflict?
– What about this position appealed to you?
– Why did you leave your last/current place of employment?
– Salary expectations
– Tell me something quirky about yourself – I was actually asked this once and it stumped me…
I have lots of quirky traits, but lets face it, most are not necessarily things I was willing to admit to a potential employer, I told her I know all the words to that song Shoop by Salt and Pepper, if that’s not an employable skill I don’t know what is.
Have a question ready for the interviewer
Most interviews end with the interviewer asking if you have any questions, make sure you do. Even a simple. ‘What are you looking for in an employee?’ or ‘Has there been much interest in the position?’
Smile, you got this.
No one wants to hire a sad sack, smile and be cheerful. A positive attitude is infectious, you want to be infectious. If you are excited about this job opportunity, make sure they know it. If the job seems like a good fit for you, tell them you are very interested in this position and you would love to be considered. Side note there is a difference between being positive and fake, find that line.
We all want to come across in the best possible light and show our best side but lying or talking yourself up to much is only going to lead to disappointment, for the both of you. If you do have some employment history that errs on the negative side, try to back it up with a positive. Say you have been unemployed for 6 months and need to explain that employment gap – back it up with how you are looking for the right position to further your career. Not just the first one that comes your way. Be honest, that way you can’t slip up.
Trust your Gut.
Lastly it is so important to trust your gut instincts. I once walked into an interview and instantly got a bad vibe from the owner/interviewer asking the questions. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but I just felt extremely uncomfortable and uneasy. It wasn’t nerves it was my gut instinct telling me to get the fuck out of there. I knew right then and there that I was never going to accept the job even if it was offered to me. Im not really one for wasting time so walked out after about 10 minutes. My head told me to stop being so dramatic and stay to hear him out but gut told me to run…. I ran.
Keep in mind that on average it takes 6-8 weeks to get a new job if you are actively looking, this is of course an average so don’t be disheartened if it takes longer than that. It can take months to find something that is the right fit for you. Keep trying and look at each interview as a good experience which you can learn from. The right job is coming for you, just have patience.
Tell me, do you have any interview tips to add?