Earlier this year I decided I was ready to take a step forward and start applying for jobs. Applying for jobs then follows with interviews, and man was I sh*tting myself. I have had the same job for the past three years so I haven’t had a proper job interview for that long. Out of the six jobs I applied for I got four interviews which I don’t think is too bad going. One of the interviews I cancelled because it was for a caring home which isn’t my kind of thing sadly, another was for a photography company in Sales, one in a campsite, and the last one for an architectural company in marketing. The photography interview was a group interview which is my WORST nightmare; you feel very competitive, and they may be more experienced than you giving yourself a slim chance of getting the job. The campsite interview was much more successful and although I didn’t get the job initially I was called back for a second interview and was offered a job (this was after I already accepted another job so I turned it down). My final interview, and the job I wanted the most, was a marketing job in an architectural company very local to where I live. It was everything I wanted and more. After a few weeks and being invited to a second interview, I was so grateful to have got the job – it’s two months in and I’m so happy with how everything is going.
So there’s a brief overview of what my process was like, a bit of rambling on (I don’t blame you if you’ve skipped that section…)
Anyway, through this process I learnt so much about what you should prepare for an interview and, seeing as it was successful, I can now pass my tips on you!
This is really important for an interview as the interviewer will most likely ask you about their company and what they do. You need to nail this part so they pick up you knowledge on the company and it shows that you’re keen to work in the industry. Even if they don’t ask you questions about their company, they’ll be impressed if you slip in a few things about the company or one of their products. They want nothing more than someone who is eager to work for them and the company and learn more about what they do.
So you’ve got an interview, a date and time, and the last thing you want to happen is for you to be late or get lost and miss the interview completely. So make sure you plan at least a day in advance so you’re not stressing out on the day. Make sure you know where it is, use google maps if you need to, and work out how long it will take you to get there (either by car or public transport links).
They’re looking to employ you at their company and they want you to be engaging with them in the interview. Ask questions about the company, to the interviewer and what they like about working at the company; this is the best way to show your interest and get more information about what it will be like working there.
You don’t want to underdress but you also don’t want to be overdressed, which can happen quite frequently. By underdressed I mean jeans, trainers, flip flops, a hat, sweatshirt…you get the drift. Overdressed can happen from clothes being too revealing or over the top in colour or patterns. It’s quite easy to get right, I usually just wear black trousers and a nice blouse with a pair of pumps…quite casual and comfortable which is important too!
These people want to know the type of person they’re hiring but they also want you to be professional and serious about the job. Some qualities companies want to see in you may include confidence, knowledgable, enthusiastic, quick learner, passionate, good communication and organisation, and teamwork skills; I think they’re the common qualities companies would look out for in an employee so they want to see that from you. However, there is a such thing as going too far and being too cocky and overwhelming. You want to sell yourself but in a professional manner, not an arrogant way.
So as I said above, you have roughly an hour to sell yourself to this person who’s looking to possibly hire you. You want to be accurate and confident but also try and avoid being cocky. Be smart!
This isn’t necessary but it’s a nice gesture to show you’re really interested in the job opportunity. I didn’t do this but I had a continuation of emails straight after the interview for my current job so I slipped in a thank you comment to one of them.
Everyone deals with interviews in different ways; some are natural and others need that time beforehand to prepare everything. I’m definitely the one who needs to do about a month of preparing in advance, what about you?