So it’s that time of year when you might be thinking about joining the real world. Perhaps you’re about to finish studying, or else you’re simply looking for a temporary holiday job. Either way, you’ll need to do well at the all-important job interview if you want to get your foot in the door and ultimately earn a pay check. These tips should help:
It’s all about first impressions
Depending on who you ask, you have somewhere between 7 and 30 seconds to make a good impression when you meet your interviewer for the first time – and that’s before you even open your mouth. To use that time wisely, make sure you look the part by presenting yourself well. That means being clean and neat, and wearing clothing that’s appropriate to the role you are applying for (think about how you would expect to see someone dressed if you were a customer or colleague). Smile as genuinely as possible and greet your interviewer with a firm and confident handshake.
Prepare for questions
There’ll always be a curve ball or two, but if you have good answers prepared to all the usual questions, you increase your chances of coming across as confident and competent. Make sure you know exactly what role you’re applying for so you can tailor your responses to match the job description.
Interviewers love it when you show you’ve taken the time to find out about the company beforehand and prepared some questions of your own. Remember you’re interviewing them just as much as they’re interviewing you.
Interviews are always going to be a nerve-wracking experience. You can reduce the effects of the stress though by doing your “research” in advance, which means you will be going in to the interview feeling as relaxed as possible under the circumstances. To achieve this, give yourself plenty of time to get there (more than you think you’ll need) and leave yourself a few minutes beforehand to:
- Take some really deep breaths to calm yourself – in and out, in and out.
- Shake your arms and legs vigorously to release tension.
- Think positive thoughts e.g. “This is my job!” or “I am calm and confident”.
For some more Dos and Don’ts, see here.
The bottom line is that an interview is an opportunity for both you and the company to figure out if you’re a good fit. Bring your best, authentic self to the table and regardless of the outcome, rock that interview!