There are few things more nerve-wracking than a job interview but our top tips will give you a huge advantage.
Before we look at what to do to, let's first cover what to definitely not do.
1. Dress smart
You may find yourself asking 'what should I wear to an interview?' Our answer - You need to make a bit of an effort! If you show up looking too casual, or look like you've just rolled out of bed then employers may think you aren’t taking it seriously, or that you won’t pay attention to your work - Not the impression you want to give!
2. Do your research and prepare
Get to know the company you’re applying for inside out. Get a clear understanding of what they do and what their priorities and values are. This will allow you to tailor your answers to suit what they’re looking for. Make sure you have a practice run at your interview.
3. Body language
Find out what makes a good handshake and put it to good use - avoid the floppy fish or the claw! Make sure during the interview you’re sitting straight, maintaining eye-contact but are also relaxed and confident. Body language plays a huge role in how we communicate with people. Even if you say all the right things, if your body language isn’t good then you might not get the job.
4. Be positive and confident
Say that you want the job for the right reasons, like developing your career or because it’s somewhere you really want to work. Don’t bad-mouth a previous employer or say anything negative about them. It won’t come across well and will make you look like someone who won’t have a good influence on their team.
5. Know your strengths and weaknesses
You’ll definitely be asked about what you’re good at, so be prepared to talk about what you do well. You might get asked about your weaknesses too so it’s worth preparing one. Be honest, but be careful with what you share. You don’t want to reveal something that might stop you getting the job. If you’ve no idea what your strengths or weaknesses are then why not try asking your teachers, tutors or lecturers? Or even some of your close friends. My World of Work’s My Strengths tool can also help you work out what you’re good at.
6. Give interesting answers
It should go without saying, but make your answers as interesting as possible to make you stand out from the crowd.
7. Show yourself at your best
Give answers relating to an experience where you’ve gone above and beyond what’s expected of you. A job interview is no time to be modest! Give examples and try to use the STAR model where possible. Check out these tips to help you answer tricky questions.
8. Think of worthwhile and interesting questions
This is why it’s worth doing your homework on who you’re interviewing for. Use your questions to show how much you know about the organisation. Show that you’re focused on a future with the company by asking something like “What are the opportunities for progression or promotion within the organisation?” and show that you’re interested in developing a career with them by asking about training and development opportunities.
9. Say “thank you” – even if it doesn’t go your way.
Companies often have a list of candidates and on occasion their preferred choice may not accept the job. You may still be near the top of the list so you may find you’re offered the position a little later. Make sure you leave people with a positive impression of you.
10. Ask for feedback
Don't want to hear it? Don't worry we have all been there. No one wants to listen to why they weren't chosen, but asking for feedback may help you understand why it didn't go your way so you can fix it for next time around. Remember even if you feel you done your best, sometimes on the day, there may be someone who would be a better fit.
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