Job interview tips
Job interview tips are widely sought after as unemployment and a competitive job market looms. Although the prospect of being asked typical interview questions such as “why we want this job” or “what we can bring to the role” can be terrifying, interviews also give us the means to explore different working environments and focus on exactly what it is you want to do with your life.
Experienced life coach Nina Grunfeld reveals some tips for a successful job interview so that you can forget about nerves and turn it to your advantage.
Job interview tips: First impressions
The first 30 seconds of a job interview – the handshake and the first hello – could be all it takes for some potential employers to make up their minds.
Think about what you’d want to see as an interviewer and become the ideal candidate. Some experts even recommend scoping out the office when most employees leave work to give you an idea of how they dress. If you can find out the name of the person, who will be interviewing you, and do a little research on their career history and interests, even better.
Take advantage of time
If you’re offered a choice of interview times, go for the latest slot possible. Research suggests we look more favourably on candidates who come later. And rather than prep frantically until the moment you’re called in, do the research earlier in the day and then indulge in something to take your mind off the impending interview.
Ask what you can do
Be clear about what you can do for the company you want to work for. Your focus should be ‘this is how I can help you’ rather than ‘what can the company do for me?’ – a mistake that many people make. Know how your values match those of the company and show that you understand how that company works.
Prepare for “behavioural” interview questions
To answer tricky interview questions to the best of your ability write down a number of examples where you have performed exceptionally well, and be specific about what skills you have that demonstrate (if you know which skills they’ll be looking for – creativity, good management, etc. – even better).
Beware of getting too personal
The question ‘What are your weaknesses?’ is not the moment for a joke. Instead, a good job interview tip advises candidates to choose something that doesn’t relate to the job they’re applying for, for example ‘I’m not keen on public speaking, which is why I prefer dealing with customers face to face, as I would in this role’.
We all want to stand out, but for the right reasons. Be aware of anything about your CV that could be a potential problem (out of work for several months, lived abroad, have never worked in their industry), and think about how this could become your unique selling point. Ask a friend to give you objective advice and highlight your CV weaknesses.
Next to each point, write a list of reasons why this is, in fact, a positive. If, for example, you’ve taken time out to care for your children, explain why this makes you a reliable, grounded candidate who’s had time to find out what you want. If you’re new to the industry, explain why this gives you the benefit of a completely different approach, which could improve their office culture.
Imagine you’ve been hired
If you do this, no doubt your shoulders have relaxed, you’ve uncrossed your arms and you’re probably smiling. Using this perspective, think about what you want to know about them. What are they looking for? What problems did they have with previous employees? What are their biggest challenges right now? What’s it like working for them? And how much salary will you get? Doesn’t that make you feel more in control? Just the perspective you want for an interview.