Cue the “OMG’s” & “Yaaaay”
And then you shall reach the ‘I HAVE NEVER DONE AN INTERVIEW BEFORE!!!!’ Panic
But from experience the best thing is not to stress – in reality you have done the hard stuff. If you are interested in the job & did some research whilst writing the Covering Letter you will be fine – you just have to show that you are the best candidate for the job!
Like so easy right?!
Well you have to do a little bit of work. But don’t worry I have created a step-by-step guide from personal experience & many a helpful article!
Step One: The Research
This is the first part for the preparation stage and arguably the most important part.
Look at their website & their history and find out who the ‘key people’ are and their jobs roles.
Read some articles about the company, they tend to explain in more detail the achievements & will help in the interview to show you haven’t just spent 5 minutes researching the company!
I would also suggest going on Linkedin & having a look at the people who will be interviewing you. This will help in understanding more about their job roles & knowing who shall be interviewing you may help in feeling less nervous!
Go through you CV & Covering Letter and reread what you wrote. You are more than likely going to be asked questions about it and there is nothing worse than in panic forgetting aspects of previous job roles, it also gives you areas to focus on when thinking about the type of questions you may be asked.
At the end of the day the whole point of the interview is for the employers to gage an idea of who you are & what you can add to the team in place with the skills you have & your previous experience.
Step Two: The Outfit
This is too many a secondary thought but it can actually be very important & should be planned in preparation. People will make an assumption about you in the first few seconds & therefore the outfit you wear can make a big difference.
It is also important to have an idea of what the ‘office uniform’ is for the company you are interviewing for because you don’t want to turn up ‘too’ smart or ‘too’ casual. But I always say that if you are unsure either ask or assume you need to be smarter.
Always remember if you are wearing nail polish keep it with a simple nude colour & make sure there are NO chips! With make-up it is best to keep it simple.
Step Three: Interview Prep!
Practice, practice, practice! Which is a slightly strange step however very useful, get your friends or family to test you with the most common interview questions such as where do you envision yourself in 5 years? What do you consider to be your top 3 skills? What do you think you will bring to our team? etc
It is very important that you have thought about these questions & that you have an answer for them. However you have to be careful not to give the ‘typical’ answers such as team player, able to take direction & work to a deadline. ACTUALLY THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE GOOD AT!
INTERVIEW SURVIVAL POINTS!
Know where you are going.
You may say this is very simple, but many people do not leave enough time to get to their interview and arrive late! Straight away you are in the bad books!
I always stuck to 3 points: get there 10 minutes before the interview time, go onto google maps & street view the building and road so you don’t get lost, and lastly if the journey is meant to take 30 minutes assume it will take 45, the worst that can happen if you need to grab a coffee for 15 minutes!
Be on the safe side
Make sure you take note of the telephone number for your contact, if you are going to be late for what ever reason (trains, traffic etc) give them a call and explain your reasons!
Print off extra copies of your CV so that you can give it too your interviewer if need be.
Always give a firm handshake. Not a hard handshake or a weak handshake but a firm one – as apparently a firm handshake shows confidence and that you are calm! Also it can help cover up any nerves!
Never speak rudely of past employees
Regardless of the experience you have NEVER say bad things about previous jobs & the people you worked with. Straight away warning flags will come up to the employer as they will be thinking that you could say the same stuff about them!
You can say that some experiences were hard and explain what you learnt from it & how it has gained you more skills etc but always make a negative into a positive!
Send a thank you email after your interview, saying how lovely it was to meet them & thank them for taking their time to interview you and how interested you are in the job etc.
This will stand you out from other people who will have been into the interview!
The actual interviews are not too bad & they do go by pretty quickly – so don’t be scared when you read that you will have a 30-45 minute interview because it will only feel like 10-15 minutes.
If you are interested in the job & are passionate about your experience & what they do, the interview will be fun. You just have to be confident in your own ability & your experience!
I have linked below some really great articles about Interviews for you too have a look at as well but if you have any stories to share about your own interviews, or any questions please leave a comment below or send me a tweet (@imdamnstudent) /email (email@example.com)
Levo League have a great article about the 8 ways you are sabotaging your job interview & 5 mistakes you have made even before the actual interview