Job interviews are nerve wracking at the best of times, never mind when you have absolutely no idea where to start when preparing for one. Even the most experienced can mess up an interview, but there are things that can help you succeed.
Go in to the interview having done extensive research on the company, the role and the industry. This will ensure that you are prepared if they ask you any questions you weren’t expecting, or if you get an opportunity to show off. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “know your audience” it’s particularly important in interviews.
There is nothing worse than walking out of an interview room knowing that you haven’t gotten the job because you didn’t perform at your best. Walk in to that room believing you’re the best person for the job, that way you’ll know you tried your very best in the interview.
The Interview Starts BEFORE You Enter The Room
Although not *technically* true, remember that people talk. If you are greeted by a receptionist who ushers you to someone else they are just as important as the interviewer. They will talk afterwards, whether they’re supposed to or not. So walk in to the building with your confidence and be nice to everyone.
Know Your Faults
Anticipate the concerns of your interviewers. If you’re a late person, tell them, but also tell them that you’re working on improving it. In my experience, honesty is normally the best policy and will get you much further than bigging yourself up.
Look Up Common Interview Questions
Google is your friend for this one. There are thousands of articles and books that give you the most common interview questions, use them. Or think back to past interviews and the questions that you didn’t do so well in and come up with the response you would have liked to give.
This one can feel awkward, but if you’re struggling ask a friend or family member to “interview” you. You can even take it in turns to fake interview each other so you also experience being the interviewer in order to better understand what an interviewer is looking for.
ALWAYS prepare questions for them. Then when the dreaded words “do you have any questions for us?” come up you can be right in there with an intelligent and well thought out question.
Remember it’s a Conversation
That awkward silence is just as awkward for them as it is for you. Remember that you’re not there to answer yes or no questions, it’s a comversation. They want to get to know you and your personality better as well as assess your ability to do the job. It’s not their responsibility to ask you about your experience, it’s your job to sell it.
They’re On Your Side
They don’t want to reject you either, you’re sitting there because your CV and application was one of the most intriguing. Always go in assuming you’ll get the job at the end because you’re not out of the running until someone else holds the position. And if you don’t get it, don’t be disheartened, it just means that you weren’t the correct fit for that role, there will be others.