The job interview. Hated by many. Feared by all. Close enough to the experience of being asked to leap out of a plane. You can only hope that you land safely. All in all a very exhilarating experience. It doesn’t however have to be a negative experience. What you put into the interview will normally be in direct proportion to what you get out of it and with enough practice you may even start enjoying them.
Not to say of course that you’ll be going to an exhaustible amount of interviews. A positive point to remember is that your application has resulted in you getting an interview. The downside may be that you are attending a large number of interviews without any real success. The important thing is to remain positive and reap as many perceived benefits as you can from each interview. Some interviews will be torturous. Many however will be insightful, interesting and sometimes even fun. It depends on your mindset and your approach to the interview which is very important.
Below is a list of tips and sins that, for the uninitiated, should be adhered to at all times. Forgive the obvious ones but you would be surprised:
- Get a good nights sleep beforehand and have breakfast on the day of the interview
- Relax and breath deeply
- Dress smartly
- Call your parents or a close friend before the interview to enhance your positive mental attitude
- Similarly ask friends of family about your strengths and weaknesses – horrible I know but it’s worth knowing how these can be overcome
- Practice getting to the venue to see how long it will take. You only get one chance to make a first impression
- Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance – Look at the company website, check their Twitter feed, research their audience
- Do not smoke, chew gum, or eat smelly food before or during the interview
- Smile but don’t overdo it
- Walk tall and use a firm handshake
- Be confident in your approach, do not fidget and keep your eyes and ears open
- Always greet the interviewer by his/her last name and try to pronounce it correctly
- Be polite. Manners cost nothing and will get you everywhere
- Listen carefully to the questions asked of you and wait until it’s your turn to speak
- Take copies of your CV with you
- Look alert and interested
- Make eye contact when you are stressing your achievements
- Do not complain about your previous role or employer – be as positive as you can
- Keep your political and religious views to yourself
- Be honest and never overemphasise your achievements. No one likes a bragger
Finally try to enjoy it. The more at ease you appear the more comfortable the interview will be on both sides of the table. The reality is you won’t be offered every job. If the perfect interview for the perfect job doesn’t materialise politely ask for feedback. You may not get any but you need to know where they thought you went wrong.
The most important thing overall is to stay positive. The perfect job for you is out there somewhere but it will take time and hard work on your part to perfect your interview skills.