Here are a few tips on how to do well in job interviews. I have had my first job interview in quite some time recently and I wanted to share what I think is the right approach.
Research the employer, look at their website, social media and such, enough to find out what you like about them and have an opinion on what they do, as you may get asked about this.
Review the job specification, line by line and how you match up, what could you brush up on and refresh your knowledge, or quickly learn about to round out your experience.
Go back to your application, or CV/resume and make sure you can expand and provide more details on anything that you have mentioned. You are likely to be asked to clarify the points you made in your application and there may be lots of follow up questions.
Ask about the format of the interview. It's useful to know who will be interviewing you and the setting. Skype or phone interviews can be typical as a preliminary first step before in-person meetings.
Think of examples of how you have contributed in your current or past roles, what stood out and is a good representation of your capabilities. If you don’t have much experience, think about your qualities and aptitude. Focus on your willingness to learn on the job, how you can be a self-starter with a strong work ethic.
How are you going to get there? Plan your route, look at transport, timetables and book any tickets. Aim to get their early, in case there are any delays on-route.
Think about some of the standard interview questions and have a few ideas about these in advance. It’s sometimes the simplest of questions that can prove the most difficult!
Why do you want to work here?
What are your three biggest strengths?
What is your biggest weakness?
What are your hobbies?
Have your questions ready, probably at least a couple that you can ask. It's your opportunity to find out more about the employer and whether it's a job, you would like to do.
During the interview
When the interview starts, ‘read the room’, as in is it more a casual setting, is it more formal and adjust your approach as needed.
Answer questions as best you can, with examples and specifics, with what experience you have, how you tacked a problem previously and some of your accomplishments.
Don’t brag though or embellish, be factual and to the point. If you can’t answer a question, either ask for clarification or be honest and say your not sure.
Be personable, smile and be as comfortable as you can while answering questions.
After the interview
Make a few quick notes. What was unexpected, what would you want to do differently next time. Is there anything you need to follow up on or clarify?
Get feedback, most employees will offer this, during a follow-up and it’s your opportunity to find out what went well and any areas for improvement.
Succeeding in the modern workplace: This is the third part of this series, here are the other posts.