As someone who has recently been flung back into the jobs market searching out new and exciting employment, I have seen the struggles that we millennials are facing when it comes to finding work. Saying that, after a few successful ones and a handful job offers, here are my top 10 interview tips – disclaimer: I am in no means an expert! I am just a nerdy twenty something with access to a laptop and delusions that anyone would be interested in listening to me! 🙂
- Be Confident!
There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence however it is important you find it and use it to your advantage in your next interview! In an interview you are essentially a sales person and you are selling yourself, you need to show that you are passionate about what you are talking about. Show these people that you are proud of the things that you have achieved so far and talk about the opportunities that they could offer. Make sure that they know just how much of an excellent choice that you would be for this position!
- Don’t lie!
Although most people can be forgiven for “embellishing” their CV for the love of God do not outright lie! It is so easy to be caught out in a lie, especially when you have been put on the spot and when it comes to interviews, first impressions are everything! Of course you can elaborate a little with certain details to make yourself shine a little more than you may have originally done. But plain and simple lying never ends well and is just another thing for you to try and remember so that you don’t get caught out!
- Do your research!
Make sure you are walking into that room as prepared as you possibly can be! Research the company – where and when they originated, their reputation in the local area, find out what do previous or current employees think of working there. Be sure that you are ready for whatever questions that they can throw at you, as well as making sure that they know how capable you are as well as highlighting that you can use initiative to find out as much as you can about them and prove just how much you want to work there.
- Sell yourself!
You know how great you are, so convince them of it as well! You are amazing and they are just waiting to hear all about your great qualities. Make a list of your skills and achievements and practice in front of the mirror. Talk about how much you have achieved in your life and remember to relate everything back to the job specification and how you are the perfect fit for it – make sure you leave them in no doubt that they would be lucky to have you.
Everyone looks better when they are wearing a smile! Of course the content of what you are saying matters but you are really selling yourself as best as you can. A smile helps you to give the best first impression possible, and so will only ever embellish what you are saying. While the interview panel are talking to you, they are not just looking to see if you could physically do the job, they are also looking to find someone that would be a pleasure to work with. Nobody wants to go to work when they are surrounded with people they don’t get on with and drag them down. Showing off that beautiful smile will help them to see your happy and bubbly personality shining through so that they know that you would be an excellent asset to the company.
- Have your practice answers at the ready!
Although no two interviews are ever going to be exactly the same as there isn’t a universal script that they run off, there are certainly common themes running through most of them. A simple Google search can help you to find some common interview questions and YouTube has some excellent role playing situation and advice videos on the best responses to give. Although you won’t know exactly what they are going to ask of you, use your initiative to hazard an educated guess as to the topic of conversation that they will wish to take with you. I always end up downloading an interview prep app which asks me common interview questions and gives me chance to formulate and learn my own responses.
- Why do you want to work there?
Be honest…well as honest as you can be! Chances are the undesirability of starving to death and becoming homeless has been a large motivator in your decision to seek employment, however there must have been a reason that you decided to send that application to that specific role. What excited you about the job specification? Have you heard any good things about what it is like to work for the company from previous or current employees? Have you enjoyed the company as a customer, and what about the service that you received did you enjoy? Let them see your passion and show them that you are genuinely interested in the position and not the just the pay cheque that will come alongside it!
- Have examples of your skills on hand!
You will always be asked about your current skill set and so to save floundering around like an idiot by being put on the spot, it is important that you have a handful of examples ready and waiting to go. Interviewers will always ask for similar skill sets – organisation, working well in a team, great customer service and time keeping. You are likely to be asked about your skills in these areas and you will be required to give examples, and details of times that you have used these skills in previous employment to your advantage. Make sure that you have a few examples that really make you shine and show your potential and highlight how they would be stupid not to hire you!
- You know that you can do this, make them believe it too!
You must know that you can do this job well or you wouldn’t have applied for it. You have the skills and the experience that are required for this job and you know that your temperament and character will be an asset to the company and make customers feel happy and assured that they are always in safe hands with you. All you need to do now is to make the interview panel see that too! It’s not as difficult as it seems, make a list and practice reciting it at home consisting of your skills, qualities and achievements all of which are relevant to that specific job in question.
- Try and relax!
Job interviews can be stressful and scary and nobody likes having to sit in front of strangers and essentially brag for half an hour! However, they are there in the hope that you are exactly what they have been looking for – and you know that you are! So sit back, try and relax and make this the best and most enjoyable interview that they have ever sat through! I believe in you – good luck!