Applying for jobs can be a stressful, long process, especially when you are unsuccessful, or sometimes you don’t even hear back from the potential employers. However, you have to continue striving to reach your goals. Rejection goes hand in hand with success. Nothing is more exciting during the job search process, then receiving a job interview. It’s your chance to show your character, personality, work ethic, morals and further demonstrate your knowledge and skill base, all during one meeting. To be able to take full advantage of an interview opportunity you need to ensure you are prepared. First impressions count for a lot, so you want to make sure you leave a lasting, positive one. To stand out amongst the other applicants, who presumably have all the relevant experience and skills for the job, you need to NAIL that interview! Here are four necessary tips to help you give an outstanding interview.
Did you think that after Uni the days of having to do research would be over? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Doing research for job interviews is a critical step. It allows you to be prepared for anything you could potentially be asked. Researching the available position and business is simple, yet extremely important, however a lot of people don’t do it (we forget, or think we can ‘wing it’). Knowing all of the key responsibilities and roles of the job, as well as what the business requires of the applicants is imperative as you can be sure, the interviewer will ask you “what is your understanding of this position?”. Being unable to answer correctly will definitely send a negative message to the interviewer. As a potential employer they want to know that you are interested in the job and have a good understanding of the position and its duties. “What do you know about our business?” or “what do you think our clients require from us?”, are questions used constantly in an interview situation. Employers need to weed out the weak, non-capable candidates to get closer to hiring the person their business needs. Knowing the business’ services/products, clients, vision, aims and their culture will provide you with the knowledge to answer any and all questions, confidently and correctly. Not only will you obviously be able to answer the interview questions with confidence and accuracy but doing the research about the potential employer and the role and showcasing that throughout the interview will definitely send positive messages to the interviewer. Being prepared with this type of information will tell the interviewer that you are: diligent, intelligent, dedicated, hardworking and committed. That is an excellent first impression!
- Dress the part
No matter what type of job you are applying for, make sure you dress up! Unfortunately, our generation is a little different from our parents’ and we sometimes get a bit caught up in the ‘fashion’ of our time. However, when it comes to an interview a professional look is always the best bet. Even if you think the business you are applying for, does not have a strict corporate dress code, an interview is usually one of the first times you get to meet the potential employers face-to-face, so we need to make sure that when they see us they are impressed. Remember, you can never be over dressed but you can be UNDERDRESSED. Dressing up for an interview shows you understand professional life, corporate situations and environments and also works as a way to tell the employer how interested you are in the position and how serious you are taking the process. Leave the tank-tops, t-shirts and singlets at home guys! Boys should always wear a suit, or at least a shirt and girls make sure you are respectively covered and presented. No one wants to hire the girl in ripped jeans or the boy in a t-shirt.
- Confidence and Courtesy
It is important to appear confident in your interview (not arrogant). You want to highlight your ability to communicate clearly in an interview, because let’s face it.. all employers want to know that you are able to communicate in a mature, confident manner if you become their employee. Eye-contact is critical! Looking someone in the eyes when talking to them is not only polite, it shows your confidence and professionalism. Don’t fidget! Moving around, dodging eye-contact or fidgeting just represents a lack of experience, focus, confidence and maturity! Sit up straight and deliver a killer interview. Another important factor to the interview process is courtesy. Manners matter (yes, we all heard that one from our parents, but it’s true). From the moment you enter the building to the moment you leave remember to be polite, to whom ever you meet. Remember to greet everyone, say please and thank you, do not swear (Duhhhh) and ensure you show the interviewers and their colleagues that you are a genuine person. Personality and character is a big aspect as to why businesses conduct face-to-face interviews. When you send out your CV and cover letter during the application process the business can assess your skills, knowledge, spelling, grammar and study experience, however they can’t know for sure what type of person you are. The interview process provides the business with an opportunity to assess if you are someone they would want to work with them and for them, and no one likes a rude colleague, so make sure you present yourself in the best way possible.
- Ask questions
At the end of almost every interview you will be asked “did you have any other questions?”, this is your chance to show that you have really put a lot of time and thought into this job! Make sure before you go for your interview you prepare a few questions to ask the employer. Questions about their business (not generic ones that you could answer yourself off their website, because that will show that you didn’t do enough research), try to ask questions to demonstrate your interest in the position and the business. This will finalise your awesome interview! An employer wants to feel as though their employees care for the business and the job that they perform, asking insightful questions helps highlight your willingness to go above and beyond. The employer will leave the interview confident that you will put effort and thought into the job, and that way they will have a strong belief that you will produce high-quality work, with integrity. Sometimes we get a little bit caught up after applying for a job, once we find out that we have passed into the next round of the interview process it’s easy to get over-excited and forget that we still need to prove ourselves to the employers. Ensure you have the best possible chance of getting that job you want, by following these simple steps.