Have a job interview coming up? Don’t fret, we’ve got 10 tips to get you sorted.
1. Guess what questions they’ll ask
The first thing they’ll ask is for you to tell them about yourself. Have a good answer for this prepared so you can hit them hard right from the beginning. There are questions that almost every interviewer asks like why you want the job, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and various other standard questions.
These are set pieces you can work on. When football teams train, they practice free-kicks, corners, penalties and throw ins. They know these things are going to come up at some stage, and so will these questions at your interview. Fail to prepare; prepare to fail!
2. Talk them up
You love their company and really want to work for them. They may be the shoddiest company you’ve ever seen, but you need to still tell them how brilliant they are. When they ask: ‘Why do you want to work for us?’, these people devote their lives working for this company, so they want to be told just how brilliant they are, and nothing will put you in their favour more than massaging their own egos. Learn what they say about themselves online, and say that’s the reason you would love (not just ‘like’) to work for this company.
3. Break the tension
Chances are, the interviewer will be your future boss or superior. They want someone they enjoy working with, so a bit of humour while walking into the room together could help. This doesn’t mean you start telling the latest jokes you heard on Sickipedia, but mention how the weather was dreadful, or how you were worried the bus was going to break down, or something light hearted.
Recruiters are looking for someone they’ll be working with for the next year or maybe 5 years. If you don’t seem like a nice enough chap and come across too serious, this could affect your application.
4. Overemphasise what you did
We’re not saying you should lie on your CV, but you could tell a few white lies that they cannot double check. If they’re looking for a team player, you could mention that on your schoolboy football team, you were awarded Player’s Player of the Year. You could take the risk that they may not ring up your local football team, asked to speak to the manager of the team during that year, and that he will out-rightly deny this and confirm that you are a filthy liar.
If it’s something small that you think you could get away with it, go for it. Obviously saying that you’re fluent Chinese will come back to haunt you when you are in that Cantonese restaurant on your first staff night out…
5. Research your interviewer
Chances are the person interviewing you has their own Twitter profile or personal page on what they’re about. They’re probably stalking you online now, so why not stalk them back? Any mention of interests outside of work, you mention the exact same as him/her on the interview. “Oh, you’re also a fan of Blackburn Rovers?” he’ll say with a look of admiration, and you’re now his best bud.
Hiring Mangers are human like the rest of us, so will respond well to common interests. The downside of this is you will have to pretend to be a Blackburn Rovers fan for the duration of your employment. Take the rough with the smooth I guess.
6. Be a people person
No matter what the job is, they want someone who’s good with people. Nobody wants to hire someone like Morrissey who’ll just mope about all day moaning about other people. They want the opposite of Morrissey who’s very positive and enthusiastic around people. Don’t go over the top though and start hugging people though. That’s just plain weird.
7. Communicate effectively
A strong communicator will go a long way. Eye contact is crucial, so make sure you are looking at the person who is interviewing you, and not down at your hands. Moving your hands while talking is what all the business types go for, so this will help sell yourself as someone who can communicate.
They want someone who can talk, but they don’t want a waffler. They’re not really looking for your opinion on things; they’re looking for what other people thought of you and examples of what you’ve done. Make sure you actually answer the questions given, or else they’ll just move along and shake their heads.
8. Talk about how you prioritise tasks
Whatever the job, a person who’s organised and works efficiently will be looked upon favourably. Give examples, but if you don’t have any make some up about how you organise your workload. Mention that whenever you’ve been given tasks, you make out spreadsheets detailing exactly what tasks you need to do, and arrange them by their level of importance and deadlines. This may be absolute rubbish, but it’s another white lie they’re unlikely to double check.
9. Get there super early
Interview nerves can upset the best of us, but try to keep calm. Make sure you get there early, and maybe grab a coffee nearby and go in about 15 minutes early. Obviously not being late is a given, but giving yourself enough time so you’re not rushing to be there on time can really calm the nerves.
If you miss a bus or train, and end up running to make it on time, you’ll be covered in sweat, you’ll crease your suit, and you could end up getting dirt on your shoes. Try to preserve your handsome self by leaving as much time as possible.
10. Ask them the right questions
It’s also a given that you as them questions when they ask at the end. But you can ask them questions during the interview as well to put them off-guard, and put the of the power in your favour.
Be careful when asking questions though, as sometimes asking the wrong question can leave you shooting yourself in the foot. Make sure you don’t ask a question that you couldn’t just find online, as this will just demonstrate a lack of research. Before you leave, ask if there is anything they would like to ask you more about, or would like you to explain better. This will go down very well.
Best of luck!