Interviews. You’ve spent hours upon hours trailing through job adverts, researching companies, tailoring cover letters, checking for grammatical errors and finally you’re through to the next stage. An initial rush of excitement, for most, is soon replaced by a sense of dread. But interviews, if you’re prepared and the interview is done right, doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience.
Research, research, research!
Hopefully, you have only applied for jobs you really want, at companies you think would be the right fit. This will ensure that you already have the necessary enthusiasm, so all you now need is the knowledge. Make sure you know everything about the company and what they do. Use social media to find out what they’re proud of. Research their competitors. Think about whether there’s anything they could do better (they may ask you this in the interview!). Now is the time to find out everything about the role, the company and the wider market so you can walk in there confident.
Preparation is key
Not only do you need to read up on the company, you also need to read up on yourself. Think about the different skills and qualities they’re looking for and how you can show that you can bring these to the table. Look up interview questions and practice the STAR technique. If they want you to do a presentation, practice in front of your friend. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel, and the better equipped you will be to answer any question they throw at you.
Be yourself and let your personality shine through
Keep upbeat and friendly, but also remember that there’s no point in pretending to be someone you’re not. You’re there to see if you’re the right fit, so make sure to be true to yourself. Remember, you’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you. Think of what is important to you in a job so that you can ask them the right questions to find out if it’s right for you. If you get nervous and clam up, don’t be scared to ask for a second to think through your answer. The interviewer would much rather you pause and give a well thought out answer rather than rush in and go off on a tangent. If you’re lacking confidence, fake it till you make it! Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk highlights how just by striking a confident pose you can trick your mind into thinking more confidently:
I know this is difficult, but it is probably the best piece of advice I have been given. Remember that, on paper, they already think you have all of the skills and experience necessary to do the job. You just need to bring that out. If you get it, great! If you don’t, see it as the company doing you a favour. This clearly was not the right position or company for you, and much better you find out now that 3 months down the line, stuck in a job you hate. You’re going to go on to much better things.* Rather than see this as a failure, view it as a practice opportunity to make sure you nail your next interview in the job that will be perfect for you.
*For inspiration, read our Girls Guide To Dealing With Rejection.
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