Top ten tips for interviews

SO you’ve found the job you want, you’ve applied and now you’ve received the phone-call to meet the boss.

An interview can be a daunting experience, especially if you have been looking for a job for a while, but by following our top tips it doesn’t have to be.

1. Do your research

Spending a short while on LinkedIn and the company’s own website can give a great idea of what you’re getting into.

Take a look at the company’s mission statements and any recent news on them. It can be a great talking point and will help you understand what is going to be required of you.

2. Dress up

You’ve only got a short time to show yourself in the best light so do have a think about what you’re wearing. Turning up scruffy shows a lack of respect and makes it seem you’re not bothered what the interviewer thinks of you.

Your attitude to your appearance will reflect your attitude to work.

3. Check your social media

The only information an interviewer will have is probably your CV, unless they take a look at Facebook. So check you social media pages and make sure the images and comments you have posted present you in a good light. If not, delete.

4. Turn up on time

This seems so simple but is very important. Know where you’re going - even do a test run if you have time, and be aware of traffic on the roads at the time of the interview if applicable.

5. Be confident

An interviewer wants to see that you have what it takes. Take a few deep breaths before you go in, stand up straight and speak clearly.

6. Be honest

When selling yourself it can be tempting to tell a little “white lie”. Don’t. You’ll be found out.

7. Be engaged

Don’t sit blank faced with your arms folded. Smile, listen to what they’re saying and try to enjoy it. It’s an interview not an interrogation.

Remember it’s a two-way process – you need to decide if you want the job, so find out as much as you can during the meeting.

8. Be prepared for awkward questions

The interview is a test so they will ask you some tricky questions. Be prepared for things like: How do you think you would manage a difficult situation? Can you handle being on call or long hours? What kind of people do you find difficult to work with?

The interviewer is testing you to see if you can think on your feet, so answer honestly and clearly. It is your chance to stand out from the other applicants who may have the same skills and experience so make the most of it.

9. Be aware of your weaknesses

And turn them around. This goes along with being asked awkward questions but use it to your advantage.

Don’t go so far as to say something cheesy like, “I guess I work too hard…” They’re not buying it and neither are you. Turn it around to say how you turned your weakness into strength.

Did you ever suffer from lack of time management or confidence? Say how you turned it around and be proud of it.

10. Have questions ready

At the end of the interview they will most likely ask you if you have any questions. Don’t let it be an awkward silence. Have something ready.

Do they have any opportunities for training courses? Is this a new or existing role? What size of team do they have? What would a typical day entail? All of these just show you have interest in the job they are offering.

Your interview is just a short space of time to showcase yourself. Be professional, honest and do your research and it will go a long way. And if it doesn’t go your way this time, use it as a practice run - you've got this.