I need my hand held as I prepare for an interview(13 Posts)
I have an interview next week for a secretarial job. I used to be a secretary years ago but the job is nothing like the work I am currently doing but I applied and have now got an interview. My first thought was to cancel it, feign illness, anything, as I feel really nervous already. I always seem to say the wrong things when in conversation with people I first meet. The thought of a formal interview terrifies me and that's what it will be. I am also to have a written test/task and I don't know what that is either. As you can probably tell, I have not been to an interview for years and just to make it worse, I don't know what to wear. Please help?
1. They wouldn't have invited you for interview if they didn't think you could do the job.
2. They want you to succeed at interview so will be looking for good stuff.
3. Wear one stage smarter than you would for actually doing the job, if that makes sense. So if you will wear trousers and a top for doing the job, go for a suit or similar.
4. Have you got a job description and person specification? If so, look at the job description and get together in your head examples of when you've done all those things before.
5. Then look at the person specification, that's all the experience, skills, qualifications, attributes they want the person to have. Get together in your head examples of when you've demonstrated each of those qualities. Think about what the scenario was, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you learned from it/would do differently.
6. You should now be prepared to answer every question they throw at you.
7. In case they ask you the stupid 'what are your weaknesses' question, don't say 'I'm a perfectionist'. Instead prepare the following. Think of an area of a previous job that wasn't crucial, or an area of a job you didn't need knowledge in but wanted to know more. Say you identified that you wanted more knowledge/experience in this area, and say what you did about it (training, research, whatever it might be) and how you now have that skill/knowledge.
8. Do plenty of research about the organisation
9. Prepare some decent questions about the job or department
10. Deep breaths and relax your shoulders. Notice your shoulders every so often, whether they are tense or not, and if they are, relax them.
... and 11. It is fine to say "I'm sorry. I'm nervous. Can you repeat the question."
Flowery that's perhaps the best 10 point interview prep plan I've seen! You're especially right that the interviewer wants the interviewee to succeed, the better you are the fewer people they have to meet and the less time it takes to fill the gap. And also remember that people hire people so let some of yourself come through in the conversation. Good luck!
Another way to deal with nerves is to say something along the lines of "if I'm coming across as nervous it's because I'm excited to be here and want to do well in this interview because I'm really interested in this opportunity. I'm not a nervous person generally!" Candidates of mine who've used a similar phrasing have felt their nerves ebb as they then stop being the elephant in the room so to speak.
I interviewed candidates for our PA role not long ago. The interview isnt a trick Im looking for a good candidate and want to give you opportunities to demonstrate that. In a PA role Im looking for someone who is bright and sparky, shows initiative, willing to take ownership of reoslving a problem (even when they didnt cause the problem), will work hard and will get on with their colleagues. Think of some examples for each of them that you can talk about even if your current line of work is different for me it is the attitude that is the key thing.
Thank you for your replies so far. How am I to do a written test, (once I have got my head round what it is) with sweaty shaky hands? I'm sorry I sound like a wuss but I can't believe how nervous I am, about every aspect of it.
Youll be fine. Just take some deep breaths. I didnt use them but in tray exercises are common for this sort of recruitment getting you to work out in which order to do work. Have a google for info.
And don't panic if you mess something up.
We set a couple of relatively simple tasks for a role like this. Every single applicant made a mess of some part of it. But two of the applicants are now working with us and are great at their jobs.
Interviewers know that people get nervous, especially when they really really want the job
If the job is for a secretary I would imagine that the test would be something to do with microsoft word/spreadsheets so brush up on those. It could possibly be something like writing a letter. AS for the interview itself is there a person specification that came with the job interview. If so many of the questions may relate to that. Also I find it useful to take some notes in with me perhaps with just a few bullet points for each item on the person spec.
The interview was scary but the hand holding helped. Just got to wait now.
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