As I will be starting my new job on Monday and I have had a few interviews over the years (I've been working part-time since I was 15 and I'm now 22), I thought I'd share with you some tips that have really helped me. Out of all of the interviews I have had, I've only been unsuccessful once and I believe this is all down to research.
When I found out I have got an interview I go through a mental list of everything I need to do which is as follows.
Pick an interview outfit I tend to go for smart casual. Yes you want to be smart but I also think you need to show an aspect of your own personality. My latest outfit of choice was smart tailored black trousers, a plain grey top and floral kimono. So the outfit was smart but it had some colour so I felt comfortable in it and that it wasn't just a generic plain jane monochrome outfit, It stood out a bit more.
Look at exactly where the company is and do a dummy run I tend to be a worrier so the more prepared I am, the less nervous I will feel. I do a dummy run just in case the trusty sat nav isn't as reliable as it should be and I will know exactly how long it will take to get there so I can then add 10 minutes as I like to be 10 minutes early and then add on some time, depending on the time of day, for traffic.
Research everything you can about the company It seems a lot of company's now days are impressed if you have taken the time to really look into what they are about, what their values are so you can in turn explain how you feel you would fit in with their values as an employee. It just shows that you are genuinely interested in the job and working for that particular company. Again the more prepared you are for whatever question you may get, the more relaxed you will feel!
Use google to find out any information about the company's particular interview process or at least sample questions you may be asked for the job role you are applying for This is SO useful. For this I write down all potential questions in a note pad and then I write down my answers. This not only gets you super prepared for any probable questions but as you are writing it you will hopefully be able to remember your answers more successfully. Also you can take your notepad with you and read through it just before you go in for the interview so it's fresh in your mind. For example a standard question is what are one of your weaknesses? Well instead of going er umm in the interview and giving a rubbish answer, you'd of already answered it for yourself, written it down, just read it before going in and you would of hopefully been able to remember it and would have given a well thought out and considered answer! Job's a gooden!
Work through some breathing exercises This really helps me as I get so nervous! Just simply concentrating on your breathing slowly in and out can really calm you down. Just think about what's the worst that can happen? You get a no and you just look again. I always try and remember that everything happens for a reason and what will be will be.
Make a list of any documents you may need to take with you You may need your passport or birth certificate, reference details ect just in case or you may of been asked to bring specific documents. If you make a list and then tick it off after putting each in your bag then you won't forget anything! Even if you haven't been asked for any documents, by bringing them anyway it may quicken any offer of a job or start date. It also shows that you are organised and conscientious which can only be a good thing! Also bring a pen and a notebook, you never know and again it makes you look well prepared.
During the interview remember to breathe and speak slowly and calmly Yes it's an interview but it's completely normal to pause for thought before an answer instead of going straight in and talking a load of gobbledegoop. Still concentrate on your breathing as when you are nervous you may find you get out of breath but if you remain calm, it will be fine!
The main thing that really works for me is going through possible questions and answering them so 9 times out of 10 I would of already answered the question in my notebook so would have a well thought out answer prepared. I can't stress enough how important it is to prepare, research questions and research the company and then you really have such a good shot at success and you know you couldn't of done anything more! - Amy x
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