Saturday, 9 February 2013

Some obvious tips for Interviews

I had an interview recently, and although I wouldn't go so far as to say "I've got the job!" I received good feedback and commendations on my level of preparation. This confused me, in the sense that the employers seemed genuinely surprised and impressed that I came prepared! This has been exclaimed to me a couple of times before in previous interviews, and makes me wonder what exactly other people think is a good way to turn up for interviews. Surely they don't all just turn up with nothing!?

So, on the off chance anyone is reading this and thinking "yeh, why would I worry about things like that?" or "why do I never get a second interview?", I have put together a list of must-haves. Please don't assume that I think myself a perfect example, hey, I'm still jobless, but just in case it could better your chances, I hope someone might find it useful.

1) Write some questions
Do your research! Look at the company website. Find out what they do, get a feel for their brand and 'what they are about', think how this might affect what they are looking for in an employee etc. Write some questions down! Read the Job Description, make notes next to it, and ask questions, even really obvious ones. Chances are you'll get most of them answered in the interview, but having written them down shows that you are interested in finding out more about the job role and the company. It's just proactive. All qualities which employers tend to look for. Even if the job is a really simple, basic one, just write some questions. It helps. I got a temp job purely because I asked questions, and I had even turned up late to the interview - which I DON'T recommend by the way, I'm just trying to prove a point.

2) Print out stuff
Be prepared! Or at least LOOK prepared. Seriously if you turn up with a little folder pack, with a load of stuff printed out, even if you haven't really done much preparation, it makes a hell of a difference. Appearance is everything, in all aspects. Just print out anything relevant. For example, spare copies of your CV, the Job description, the email confirmation they sent you for interview, a map to the location...this all might sound a bit extreem but I'm telling you now, it makes all the difference.

3) Dress smart, be engaged
Ok, yes, this is a standard as well, but in my last interview, I got commended on my 'professional attitude'. So this covers all aspects. Dress smart. You don't have to get the power suit out, especially if you don't know the dress code of the company, but, by dressing in clean, smart clothing, you're off to a good start. For example, cigarette suit trousers, pretty shirt, clean shoes, cardigan - sorted. During the interview, SMILE. Be engaged in what they are telling you, be responsive. Don't panic if you don't know the answers to everything, just chill, and answer the best you can. After all, there is no point selling a false impression of yourself, they would find out sooner or later. Be polite. That's all it should take.

And there you are. My three step advice on job interviews. If anyone finds this useful, or perhaps disagrees with me, or has something to add, please comment. Now my problem I think I have is with my CV and cover letters, so if someone could do an advice post about those that would be great! Thanks!


Camille Sita said...

Very good Fabs! And I've picked up a tip to bring a copy of my CV...that could have helped today :-)

aboids said...

Oh no! Did they ask you for a copy?