Whether your looking for a job or heading off to university, at some point we all have to go through interviews. And no matter if it’s your first or your seventh, they’re still a daunting process.
But here are a few tips and tricks to help you prepare and help you through.
Arrive Early – Make it a rule to arrive around 10 minutes early to your interview, it shows that you are prepared and punctual. In a lot of industries, if you arrive on time, you’re late! So make sure you give yourself time, that way if something crops up, you know you have time and you’re not going to arrive super late or feel rushed.
Know The Company– When you go into your interview know the key points of the company; their values, their mission and how they started. All of these things can be found on a companies website and doesn’t take all that much effort to research. But if you can mention these points in your interview it shows that you have taken the incentive to do your research.
Dress The Part – Even if the companies dress code is casual, dress formally for your interview. You want to impress them so take some pride in your appearance. If you take pride in how you look, employers are going to believe you’re the kind of person who takes pride in your work.
Talk! – Employers are looking for a member of their team, therefore they’re looking for chemistry. Chat with the people you meet, be friendly (not too friendly…don’t be creepy). Don’t allow yourself to become part of the wallpaper. Let them see how you will slip effortlessly into the teams dynamic. I promise you it will work in your favour, they’re not going to hire someone who makes them feel uncomfortable.
Stand Out! – Following on from the previous point, if you have to do a group presentation or activity, be sure to show you’re a team player. Don’t be bossy, but make sure you make yourself heard and share your opinion. Participate and show them you are resourceful.
Revise – If you know you have to do a standard English and maths tests, make sure you revise beforehand. Although the tests aren’t rocket science, there may be a few things that can catch you out, especially if it has been a while since you were in school and using this kind of maths. I don’t care what the maths teacher said, I have never used PI in the eight years since I left school. Never. If nothing else, brushing up on your studies will boost your confidence going in.
Drink – No not alcohol. If they offer you a cup of tea or glass of water, take it. Not only does it give your hands something to do to stop nervous fidgeting, but it also gives the impression you are calm and comfortable. For example, if someone comes around your house, you say to make yourself at home and offer them a drink. If they sit there stiffly and decline, it gives the impression they don’t want to be there and makes you feel awkward. The same applies here. Accept the drink, give them the impression that you belong there.
Say ‘We’ – During your interview, if they ask a question which refers to the company, rather than saying ‘You do this’, say ‘We do this.’ It’ a small detail and your interviewer might not consciously pick up on it, but you’re putting the idea in their head that you are already a part of the ‘we’. Obviously, this alone won’t get you the job but little details matter.
Bring Everything With You – If your potential employers have asked you to bring something with you to your interview, be sure to bring it! Whether it be your qualification certificates, national insurance number or passport, make it a priority to remember them. I once attended an interview where one of the other interviewees turned up 15 minutes late and hadn’t brought any of the above. Needless to say, he looked slightly foolish and I never saw him again (I got the job). Don’t be that person, be prepared.
Be Yourself – At the end of the day, if you’re successful, you could potentially be in the job a long time. If you go into your interview and put on an act it’s going to be very hard to keep up the act day after day if you get the job. Be yourself, that way if you get the job you know it’s right and you’re more likely to enjoy working there.
Those are my top tips for interviews that I have picked up over the last few years of university and looking for jobs. But in a nutshell, go in, be confident, be kind and be yourself.
If you’ve got an interview coming up, I wish you the best of luck!
Have you got any funny interview stories? Let me know in the comments or on social media, links are below! Be sure to follow my blog for new posts every Saturday!