Job interviews can be stressful. Here are some top tips to help you ace them.
You will have some time between receiving your interview offer and your interview date. Use this time wisely to research the company. You are bound to be asked specific questions about the company in your interview. The interview panel will want to determine that you know enough about the job type you have applied for, how the job fits into the wider organisation and see just how much you want to work for them through your eagerness to learn about how they work. Make sure you do your homework, looking up their latest news on their webpage or finding their business plan or annual report online (which will provide detailed information on where the company is, and where it is going).
Some jobs will require you to make a presentation or complete a task before or after the interview. Your invitation will detail this, so make sure you read it thoroughly and that you are prepared for the day.
Job interviews do not always follow the same format, but certain questions usually crop up. These include questions about team work, what you can offer that no other candidate can, what your goals are for the future and about your personal strengths and weaknesses. You can usually plan for all of these in advance – view this list at Monster.com of the most common interview questions.
In your interview invitation, you may have a list of the people who are interviewing you, and their job titles. Think about the kind of answers each person on the panel would like to hear. For example, if one of the panel is a Finance Manager, try to find something about the company’s finance before you go to the interview. Even if you don’t get asked a direct question about finance, if you can include a mention it will show the panel member that you have an interest and knowledge of what they do.
If you would like support with a mock interview or need help practising your interview technique, please contact our team – we can give you valuable hints and tips before you attend the real thing.
Dress for the job
Sadly, people are judged on their appearances and first impressions do count. It helps to make sure your shoes are traditional/not too “out there” and polished, your hair is smart and your clothes fit in time for your interview. If you dress for the role above the one you are applying for, it will demonstrate that you are looking to succeed in your career.
The following are some suggestions of clothes that would be suitable for an interview.
For formal interviews, a good example for men is a suit with a solid colour, along with a long sleeve shirt that is white or coordinated with the suit. Remember a belt, tie and dark socks.
A good example of women’s attire could be a solid coloured suit, with a coordinated blouse and neutral tights. If you are wearing a suit skirt, it should be long enough so that you can sit down comfortably.
If you want further advice on what to wear, please contact us. We might also be able to help you apply for cash through the Job Centre for a new suit.
Prepare in advance to minimise nerves
Good preparation can help you keep your nerves on the day. Plan your transport in advance (which route you will drive, what time you would need to catch public transport etc) and allow extra time for any possible delays. Get everything you need prepared for the night before, such as any requested presentations. You might want to take a portfolio of work examples you can refer to in your interview – this can really demonstrate to the panel you know your stuff.
At the interview, smile and give eye contact to the panel. If you feel nervous, remember the panel may be just as nervous as you are.
Interviews usually close with an opportunity for you to ask the panel questions. Think of a couple before you attend, such as about the company’s future or what specific projects you might be working on. Asking questions will demonstrate that you are interested in the company, and also subtly show that you have some knowledge of the company if they are based on something you have researched about it in advance.
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