So, about a month ago I was let go from my internship, and I’m unemployed again. I have started looking for a new job, and thought that since I will be doing research into interviewing & job seeking, I might as well put up the top tips for interviewing, and for some other job hunt related issues.
- Research – Jobs, Job type & company
When you are looking for a job, you can use Jobfairy & Internfairy on twitter ( more succesful in Ireland).
When you have been invite to interview, the first thing that you do is reply, if necessary. Then you need to look up the job type and company and try and find out as much information as you can about them. I have been told by business and recruitment ‘speialists’ that you should spend 3-4 days researching the company & job type. I think that is stupid, unwarranted and bad advice, if you spend that much time researching for every job, you will have very little time for anything else. if you are good at research you should spend 3-4 hours on research, if not so good, then double it. You may think this unnecessary, but if you get asked why you would like to work there, you need more than generic answers, mentioning specific things they have excelled in will impress them.
For the research, you should not only use their website, but also their social media platforms, google news search, even Wikipedia if they have one, it is all ammo that you can use for a great interview.
- Assume questions, and practice answers
Come up with questions that you think will come up and practice answers – don’t learn them off by heart, as you might come off sounding like a robot. Sample questions: ‘What are your strengths/weaknesses?’, ‘Why do you want to work for us?’ ‘If you are working on a team project, and someone is not doing their fair share, how would you deal with them?’
When you know what the specific job title, you can practice questions that may come up in regards to it: ‘What makes you excited about…?’, ‘When trying to each a majority female audience, what channels would you favour to get your message out?’, ‘What are you looking to get out of this job?’
- Appearance & body language
Your appearance is incredibly important, it is the first impression that you make, and the way you dress can tell your prospective employer a lot about you, attention to detail, hygeine, etc. You should dress formally, no matter what the job is. Ideally you should dress in a suit or appropriate female substitute, but I usually wear a shirt, and a pair of slacks, as it is formal, but shows you are not too stiff or too formal – may not be suitable for some jobs ie Accountant, Lawyer (no creativity or flexibility is really necessary)
Body language is also very important, the way you act as well as how look and answer your questions will have a significnat impact on how the interviewers judge you. Sit up straight, look the interviewer in the eyes, dont fidget with your hands, keep your legs close together.
- Questions to ask
You should always ask some questions at the end of the interview, to show that you’re interested in the job & company.
What’s it like to work here?’, ‘What would the time commitment be?’, ‘How would you describe a typical day in this position?’, ‘What do you like about working here?’
- Tailor CV(Resume) & cover letter
Tailor you documents to the position or company that you are applying to, putting the skills, experience that is most signifucant to the job at the top of their sections. In the cover letter you should rewrite the pieces so that they are better suited to the job.
- Stay calm
It is understandable that you will be nervous going in to an interview
But you need to try and keep yourself calm, or you will sound unsure, like you dont know what you’re talking about, and you might start saying, eh, and em a little too often.
- Focus – Dont fidget, use phone etc.
You’re in a job interview, not hanging out with your mates, or sitting around. Focus on the task at hand, give your full undivided attention to the interviewers, forget about your phone, keep your hands and legs still, and don’t change your sitting position too much, it will be over before you know it.
- Dont waffle
When answering your questions, just answer the question, dont start waffling about something that has no business being in the interview. Try to keep your questions to the point and as short as possible.
Pay attention to what the interviewer is saying, don’t just sit there and wait for the next question, for you to answer. Respond to what their saying, by nodding your head, saying things like ‘yeah’, ‘sure’, ‘of course’ etc
- Spell check & content check CV & Cover Letter
Speaks for itself 😉
And remember, don’t be…
And hopefully you will be…
Last thursday, I had an interview for an internship with an interesting start-up company called Tapastreet, you should check it out, a very interesting and exciting new product.
I dressed in a shirt and slacks, I was there early, I had researched the company and the product, and I knew the role as well as my CV and cover letter very well. It was a first for me, as there were 3 interviewers, which is the most i’ve been interviewed by. I was quite nervous, but I made a little harmless joke at the beginning that went down well and helped to calm the nerves. I stuttered a bit through it, but was able to answer all the questions, like ‘What excites you about marketing?’ – I answered: I like that fact that it is constantly changing, that every year will be different, especially with all of the changes that digital is bringing to the world. The whole interview went quite well, especially since the 3 interviewers were friendly and fairly informal. Hopefully, I will know early this week if I have been successful – fingers crossed!