Remember that if you have got to the interview stage on a job application the employer already thinks you are qualified for the job or you wouldn’t be there. Your aim in the interview is to shine by showing your personality fits in with the company ethos, sharing your experience which meets the job requirements and looking right for the part. Now you ask, how do you tailor these three points for each interview?
- Show your personality – research the company and the job specification to find out what kind of person they are looking for but also what kind of person they currently employ. They want you to fit in with their team so look on social media and their website for clues. If they are an outgoing and fun group of people spending time together at pub quizzes and out for dinner after work hours you are going to want to come across as happy and sociable yourself. If it is a job in events, you know this is going to involve days/nights out, remember this when the question is asked about your hobbies. If the job is in sales, you are going to need to be able to sell yourself and your personality to them, if you can’t, they will think you are incapable of selling their product. Other ways you can show your personality in an interview is through using your charm, humour and intelligence to win them over (just don’t go over the top and complete a full stand up set!)
- Share your experience – part of an interviewer’s role is to determine what you have put in your application or CV is true. Ensure you have told the truth and remember what you have written before entering the interview, know it well and be well prepared for questions on this. They are unlikely to ask about your GCSE grades however are very likely to question what you learnt/what you gained/what you enjoyed about one of the listed jobs, placements or qualifications. Prepare for this by thinking of particular situations, learning curves or examples where you have made a positive influence to a company, job role or learning situation. Have set examples you know show your skills and experience, ideally link this to the company’s niche.
- Looking right for the part – however much people want to deny this, first impressions count. This includes your outfit, facial expressions and how you speak. Remember to dress to impress, wear a smart suit or similar, do not wear bright patterns or colours which are going to distract people from listening to you and do not try and be overly fashion forward – this will not be a point in your favour. Remember to smile, you want to look happy and keen to have the opportunity to meet with this company. Eye contact is extremely important, when someone is asking you a question, look at them, they will feel listened to and you will show confidence and interest. When answering a question look up at your audience, if you struggle with this look at their nose! Keep your arms to your side if possible, try not to wave them around too much when you speak as this can distracting however definitely don’t cross them as this appears as closed and unwilling. Speak slowly ensuring you sound polite and are easy to understand. Of course, an accent is part of your identity but if this is from a different area to where you are interviewing remember this may sound faster to others. Try to remember to pronounce words fully, don’t use jargon or abbreviated words, this could be viewed as lazy. Speak confidently, you know what your talking about, YOU so do it with strength and give yourself the positive representation you deserve!