You spend a lot of time and energy getting an interview. To give yourself the best chance of success there are some basic pointers that you should seriously consider.
Research your company
You will be asked by the person interviewing you what you know about the company. Five minutes basic research will give you a good foundation and confidence in the interview to speak with authority about the company.
Think of some questions you want to ask
It shows you’re serious if you have thought of some insightful questions about the job before hand. If you can’t remember these, that’s fine, write them down and ask them at the end. Usually you’ll be asked if you have any questions at the end of the interview. Use them to make you look good: Don’t ask about the pay, the hours of work or benefits. Make the questions about the job.
You might also like: How to Find Work After Leaving School
Don’t be late
Arriving at 11.59 for a 12:00 appointment isn’t late, but it doesn’t give you the best chance of success. Why? Because you are flustered, sweaty and rushing if you arrived one minute before your appointment time. Getting there 15 minutes before hand, relaxing, practicing a few questions in your head and then going in is the ideal preparation. If you’re interviewing in a busy city area, it’s often tough to find the correct address and floor, so allow for that too.
Handling the Tough Job Interview Questions:
What are your weaknesses?
Try to focus on something not critical to the job. Not something that shows you’re a bad team player. If the company has a system you haven’t used you can let them know, but then turn it around into a positive by saying “however I have used a wide variety of systems in my career and I’ve always been a quick learner with each of them, so this won’t be an issue for me”. This is a sneaky way of turning the weakness question into a positive.
“Tell me about a time when you…”
Interviewers ask behavioral questions to understand how you worked or reacted to situations in the past that are similar to what you will face in their job. You need to answer them in a deliberate way. Here is the formula – Describe where it happened / describe what you personally did / describe what the outcome was.
Eg. Can you tell me about a time that you were under pressure at work and how you handled it?
Well that happened regularly at my last job with XYZ Co. One particular situation was a day in September when a major tender was due, and I was responsible for coordinating this. We were running behind due to a late change in the requirements, so I had to coordinate between the accounting, marketing and sales departments to get the documentation completed by 5 pm. It was very stressful, however I regularly checked with each department head, called in support from another office and created a checklist to monitor progress throughout the day. We made the deadline by 30 minutes to spare and it was a great relief all around.
Do yourself a favour and just don’t be late, flustered and sweaty. That’s the best way to ensure you get off on the right foot. Add some research to the mix and you’re cooking with gas – good luck and happy job hunting!