By Roisin Mulcahy
All your hard work drafting that killer cover letter and resume has paid off and you’ve scored an interview – congratulations! But now what? Job interviews can seem scary because you don’t know what to expect and Google doesn’t seem to help. Here are a few tips to help you crush your interview and avoid a serious case of sweaty hands and a tied up tongue.
BEFORE THE INTERVIEW:
Research and Study
Okay so you’ve probably read this tip a million times before but it’s so important: you must research the company before your interview. Go beyond just reading information on their website’s home page: read up on the company, research the role and memorise all the information (LinkedIn is great for extra information). It is impressive when you can demonstrate key knowledge that you’d only know if you put in the effort. This shows that you’re interested in working there and you are thorough in what you do.
Check Your Social Media
You should already have everything on private for your own internet safety, but if not, this is the perfect time for you to clean up your social media up. The unfortunate fact is that employers judge you by your online profile and you don’t want your social media to kill your job prospects.
NIGHT BEFORE THE INTERVIEW:
Organise Your Outfit
Figure out what clothes and shoes you’re planning on wearing for the interview and make sure they are clean!
Remember to dress appropriately but don’t be uncomfortable, you want to show yourself (well, the best version of yourself). As you’ve already done all that amazing research, you’ll have an idea of what kind of vibe the dress code is. If you’re unsure, it’s always safe to present yourself in corporate attire.
Figure out how you’re getting to the interview. If you’re planning on driving make sure you know the parking availability in the area. If you are catching public transport, it’s important to know the times and plan your trip so you arrive early!
DAY OF THE INTERVIEW:
Let’s make this easy:
- Bring a fresh copy of your CV to the interview.
- Don’t eat smelly food or coffee right before the interview.
- Remember to wear deodorant.
- Before walking into the interview building – turn your phone off.
DURING THE INTERVIEW:
Talk Yourself Up
Okay, don’t actually talk yourself up to the point where you come across as bragging, but get ready to talk about every detail on your CV. You’re the one who wrote about all your skills and work experience so know how to talk about it and don’t just repeat what’s written. Elaborate on your skills and be prepared to volunteer additional information, such as challenges or skills you gained through your experience.
Know Your Weaknesses
What’s your biggest weakness? You know this question is coming and yet it’s the most difficult question of all. Some people say that you should turn your weakness into a positive but this can also make you sound like a machine. Just be honest with your answer, but not too honest that you self-sabotage. Ideally, give an example of a time something went wrong and how you learnt from it.
Your interviewer will almost always ask if you have any questions at the end of the interview and it doesn’t look great if you say no. To some companies this is a sign that you aren’t interested in the role.
These are great options:
- What day-to-day activities would I be involved with?
- Is there opportunity for growth in the company?
- What is the office dynamic like?
AFTER THE INTERVIEW:
There is nothing more you can do and stressing over it doesn’t help so now it is time to be patient and wait for a decision. It isn’t a good idea to harass the company but if you don’t hear from them for more than a week after they said they would let you know, you can follow up. If you don’t get the job, don’t be too upset because there will be many more. The more practice you get with interviews, the better!