1. Always prepare before an interview
– Learn about the company and make notes of their ethics/morals and how these align with you.
– Depending on the role you have applied for, think of questions that you may be asked that are relevant to the position and how your experience ties in with this. I normally write the questions and answers out and re-read them whilst waiting to go into an interview so they’re fresh in my mind.
– Think about difficult questions – Although the majority of most interviews are in relation to how you can benefit the company, there will be some ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years?’ Type of questions that you should be able to answer.
– Going through the questions you have with another person prior to the interview also helps.
2. Breathe and (try to) stay calm
– When asked a question you’re not sure how to answer, take a deep breath in to help you refocus on what is being asked. Breathing deeply can also help to calm your nerves and get rid of the niggling doubt at the back of your mind.
– Make sure that your deep breathing isn’t obvious to your interviewers as this may look a little strange. Practice taking a deep breath before talking so you can streamline this when you need it.
3. Come with your own questions
– You will obviously be asked a lot of questions about you, but what makes you look like an eager beaver is to have questions for them. I’ve found one generic question and a couple of questions about the role usually suffice.
– Word of warning: Don’t ask questions about benefits, these will be reiterated to you should you be offered the role. Most companies want you to be eager to work for them rather than the benefits they offer.
– Always be at least 10 minutes early for an interviewer. Being late without due warning is not a good first impression.
– Try to lighten the mood of an interview. Although an interview is often formal, lighten the mood with a joke or two is a nice way to relax yourself and the interviewers. I only recommend this if you know where the sensible line is as there is some humour that shouldn’t be taken to work.
5. GOOD LUCK!!!!
While it does bite the big one not getting a job you really want, everything happens for a reason. Seriously! It’s not just the generic advice my mom would console me with after another heartbreak, it’s so true in this case. Had I somehow managed to sneak through the interview process last time, it would have been a really hard transition. Now knowing what is required of the role, I can tell you that I was not at all prepared for what the agency would have asked of me. Getting the time to grow and learn has been invaluable. Especially because the role I’m in now is so perfectly suited for my skill set.
If this happens to you, don’t give up, and remember you are in good company!