If you are reading this you are probably preparing for an important meeting. Or you are just curious about HR and the recruitment process… either way I am here to share some advice and thoughts on the interviewing process. Recently I have had a few interviews for my placement year and have learnt a thing or two that I believe may be helpful to someone out there. I must point out that I am one of those individuals that feels the nerves and can get quite stressed about situations that involve going somewhere I have never been before and having to sell my experience and skills to strangers. Therefore, I think these tips will really help the worry bots out there! I know that you may already be aware of some of the tricks… but do you always put them into practice?
SO! Here are my 10 tips for interviews.
Before you get there:
- Research the organisation and the role you are applying for: find out elements/projects they’ve done that interest you. Also identify any flaws or areas for criticism. Negative question types are becoming increasingly popular, for example: “How would you improve our Social Media presence?” or “What didn’t you like about our website?”
- Find out where the interview is, how long it takes to get there and how much it will cost you- bring extra money and allow for any delays, better safe than sorry!
- Read through your CV and application: get familiar with all the experience and skills you have gained, this can help with your confidence. Go over your reasons for wanting to work with them, they’ll like consistency and more importantly, your ability to elaborate on points you made.
- Pack your bag and plan your outfit the night before… this reduces some stress and will make you feel much more organised and prepared.
- Have something to eat before you leave: it doesn’t have to be a big fry up, but make sure you give yourself enough fuel to feel ready to take on the day.
When you get there:
- When you meet your interviewers, be sure to have good posture and shake their hands confidently. That’s a good habit to get into for professional environments!
- They will probably offer you a drink, if this happens say YES. Even if you’re not thirsty. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, tap water is fine. It shows your potential employer that you are not afraid to speak up and also comes in handy for buying time for tricky questions!
- Take your time. I often need to remind myself during interviews that it isn’t meant to be an impossible test. Interviews are as much for you as they are for the employer. Give yourself enough time to answer the questions properly.
- Have your own question. Usually as the interview comes to a close, they will ask if you have any questions. It’s good practice to ask one or two questions yourself, as it shows you have genuine interest in working there and is a good opportunity for you to find out more!
- Be yourself. You want to make sure that if you secure the position, you will enjoy it and fit in with the team. This also covers being honest. Don’t lie about being brilliant at something if you’re not… it will make things much harder later!
To conclude, interviews are scary (for me anyway!). But they are also exciting and can be open many doors for you. Try to relax and enjoy the process. If you’re well suited and they like you, you will secure the role. If you don’t, it isn’t the end of the world and it can be put down as experience for future interviews.
Good luck! You can do it.