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Give me your best job interview tips.(23 Posts)
I've had a rough couple of years in my job and my self confidence and self esteem is kind of at an all time low.
I have an interview on Saturday for a job I would really love. Would anyone like to share their best interview tips with me? Also any tips on how to project confidence when it is the last thing I'm feeling?
Prepare for any possible questions they could ask.
Smile, be positive and enthuastic.
Prepare a couple of questions of your own.
Prepare & research about the company
Wear something smart, but comfortable
Questions to ask
Really do your research beforehand - know about the company and the area they work in. Find out if any recent issues relating to them have been raised in the media or any government reports or anything like that. Speak to the interviewer beforehand if possible to find out what they are looking for and any info about the job they can share.
Make sure you have one or two relevant questions (not relating to pay or time off) to ask if the interviewers ask if you want to ask them any questions. Things like what scope there is for working towards qualifications or seeking promotion, or what the indicators for success in the role are.
Research how to get to interview & allow time for travel delays
Good luck! It’s nerve wracking but being prepared will make you feel a bit less nervous.
Lots of research - find out if they have any company values, or look on their website/blog/Google for any recent news/relevant industry issues you could talk about.
Practice out loud - in most interviews I’ve been asked “so tell me about yourself” so it’s a good idea to know what you’ll say and how you’ll put yourself across.
One of the best questions I’ve asked at the end of an interview (I’ve actually been told a couple of times this was a great question) is “is there anything about my experience that gives you any doubts about my ability to do this role?” It gives you a chance to address any concerns they might have and ensures that you leave things on a positive note. I’ve asked this twice before and both times was offered the job.
Do your research - you'd be amazed how many candidates don't know the first thing about the company or role they apply for.
When you answer a question, give a specific example of when you've dealt with this issue before. Try to do this with every question.
Give evidence of where you have taken responsibility for your own learning and growth.
Have a question or two about the role ready
Smile and try not to be nervous, they should be trying to impress you as much as the other way round
Start off with a big smile, good eye contact and (in normal times) a confident handshake. Think of some appropriate small talk to fill the first minute or two before the interview proper begins.
OP is it a competency based interview? If so prepare some answers before. Write them out. Use the STAR structure. Situation, Task, Action, Results.
Even if it isn't competency based it will be a good way to prepare.
Have a look at your CV. Is there anything you would need reassurance on if you were the interviewer? Helps you have an answer prepared to allay any concerns. For example have they asked for a skill that's not on your CV but you can demonstrate.
Sorry it's an outfit one.
My first proper boss told me that he thought it was great I wore a bright / distinctive shirt to my interview. All the interviewees apart from me he said had worn just black or black and white and he found it useful to have something to identify the applicant when thinking back on the interview answers.
Have to admit when I have conducted interviews I do like it when someone wears something distinctive, for some reason they become clearer in my memory.
It's been mentioned but make sure you are rigid with your STAR answers and don't go off on a tangent. It helps the interviewers to score your answers.
Definitely have some questions ready that show a real interest in the role and the company (don't ask about salary/annual leave etc.) I take a pad and pen with me to jot down answers to my questions.
Smile and admit to nerves if you want to, nobody will refuse you a job because you're nervous at interview.
Accept water if it's offered. Taking a sip gives you a chance to mull over your answer to a question. Ask for them to repeat the question if needed and if you think you've "waffled" then ask if that answers their question or if you need to give more information.
Last time I asked "is there anything that I've said today that would prevent you from offering me the position?". That's a brave one though!! And I actually came second at interview but got the job when someone else turned it down.
Prepare yourself. About the company, role, what's happening in their industry/wider trends. Also, think proactively about some of the questions that you want to ask them and suss out if the company is right for you. E.g. why did the last person leave the position? What's the opportunity to progress? What's the company's position on: personal development/ work life balance etc.
Smile, take sips of water if you need a moment to think about something and try not to fiddle with your hands too much.
If the interview is online, try to practice on the software beforehand and remember to look occasionally at your camera (to mimic 'eye' contact) rather than only the faces on screen.
Have a thought through reason about why you want the job. This is difficult if you just need any job, but as you say you would love to get this job there must be good reasons why. Practice articulating why you are particularly interested in this role and talking the reasons through out loud. Have a narrative about what you have done in the past, what you want to do in the future, how this role builds on your experience and what you can offer to it.
I have interviewed for 5 jobs this year, been offered 4 and passed the board for the fifth but lost out to a more experienced candidate (or so they told me.) One of the things consistently mentioned in feedback is the panels believed I wanted to do the job and had well thought through reasons for applying. So if all other things are equal, being able to express those reasons seems to be a useful differentiator.
1. Make sure you banish all thoughts of how you dislike our current job from your mind. If they sense that in any way you are unlikely to get this new job. Obviously, do not be negative about your current job or employer. Try to think about positive experiences and things you've done well (career or personal) before going into the interview - should help you to come across as confident and in a good place. And prepare a few positive things from your current job to talk about if asked.
2. As said, accept any drink and food they offer you, even if it's something you don't like. Another positive vibe thing as well as giving you a reason to pause occasionally.
3. If they ask you whether you have experience of something, be honest. Coming across as honest - "Yes, I have done that, but not a huge amount, enjoyed it and would love to do more" will look good and they then won't ask you questions you can't answer.
Some brilliant advice. Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply. I should say it is a zoom interview so I need to practice because I haven't used it much and make sure I have the shot well framed too.
I know deep down I would be great in this job so now I just need to make them believe it!
I got my current job in a Zoom interview, I had Post Its stuck behind the laptop with some crib notes - there are advantages to Covid times!
Make notes with examples that demonstrate key competences, like ‘time you handled a difficult situation/person’ or ‘what you’ve been most proud of in work recently’
There’s nothing wrong with having notes, even in a face to face interview
Good luck, OP. I much prefer online interviews: I always found the most stressful part of face to face interviews the drive there and the sitting in reception waiting to be called. Online interviews completely bypass the worst of that, and when it's done you can just log off and it's over.
Agree with having post it notes around your screen or notes taped to a wall behind as an aide memoire. I think it's a good idea to practice with the software and see what your background looks like, as you've said. Your interviewers will probably blur theirs and its pefectly accceptable to do so, so perhaps practice doing that too if you are not familiar with zoom.
If you have a headset and mike, wearing it will ensure your interviewers can hear everything you say and that you can hear their questions. If you don't, then whether or not you buy one will depend how much spare cash you have, and how often you think you might use it in future but you can get a decent set for about £25 from amazon.
I have an interview too on Friday so it's been really helpful reading all these. Good luck op for Saturday
With an online interview you can have some discrete notes/prompts in front of you, or post-it notes round your screen.
Make sure you do practise the tech beforehand, if you have a presentation make sure you can share your screen. Ask everyone else in your house to stop using the WiFi during the interview so that you don't have any bandwidth issues. Have a plain background.
Think of the things you're most proud of in your career, and then apply the STAR technique to them - Situation, Task, Action and Result. You can shoehorn them into any relevant interview question. Having it on zoom is great, you can out the post it notes around your monitor and make sure you don't forget your past glories! Always have answers ready for 'how would you describe your weaknesses' and 'where do you see yourself in five years'. Good luck!
Look everyone in the eye initially, smile, deep breaths, and introduce yourself
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