Pre-interview nerves beginning to get the better of you? You’re not alone…
In fact, over 60% of candidates we asked in a recent survey admitted to feeling the pressure before the big day. It’s understandable, particularly when interviewing for a job that you really feel will better your career and/or lifestyle. But what if we told you it didn’t have to be that way?
To help you get over the awkwardness, here are six interview tips to help you nail it:
1. How to prepare for an interview
Never underestimate the importance of preparation.
Not only is it one of the easiest ways to master the interview process, it’s also one that is often overlooked by applicants. It can be as simple as researching the company and finding out more about the marketplace, but that alone can be the difference between success and failure.
Still struggling? Read our guide on how to prepare for an interview.
2. What to wear to an interview
Ok, so they said sophisticated smart-casual on the job description. Which is great. But aside from knowing what that means, you also don’t know if you own anything which even remotely does the job.
Getting your outfit right is a potential minefield. Get it right, and you’ve instantly shown you can fit in with the team. But get it wrong, and you might have just blown your chances quicker than you can say ‘socks and sandal combo’.
To help you decide on your #OOTD, we’ve spoken to some of the UK’s best fashion bloggers’ to get their advice on what to wear to an interview – and just as importantly, what not to.
3. How to answer common interview questions
Once you’ve done your research and decided on an outfit, it’s time to get to the good stuff.
There are literally hundreds different questions that could come up during your interview, and answering them in the right way is a key part of increasing your chances of success.
And although you can’t always prepare for every eventuality, you can prep yourself for some of the more common questions that could come up.
So, for advice on how to answer everything from ‘what are your weaknesses’ and ‘where do you see yourself in five years’ time’, through to ‘what motivates you’ and ‘what are your hobbies and interests, read our guides to answering common interview questions and five interview questions you should stop being scared of.
4. How to answer curveball questions
Preparing for common questions is one thing, but could you handle a curveball?
A.K.A the-questions-deliberately-asked-to-trip-you-up, curveball questions are a great way for employers to gauge character and see how you work under pressure. Unfortunately, it’s exactly these kinds of questions that prove the source of interview nightmares for candidates unless they know what’s coming.
Potential questions vary depending on employer (and/or their general meanness), ranging from ‘If you were an animal, what would you be’ to ‘how many basketballs could you fit on a bus’.
5. How to handle different types of interview
Not all interviews will take the standard question-and-answer format.
For certain industries, telephone or group interviews may also make up part of the process. Without the proper tailoring in your pre-interview preparations, you’ll run the risk of passing up a golden opportunity to shine.
6. How to follow-up on an interview
Now you’ve got all of your preparations out of the way, it’s time to think about the follow-up.
Firstly, make sure that you know exactly what you should be asking at the end of the interview. Knowing how to answer questions is one thing, but it’s demonstrating that you have some excellent ones of your own that really starts to show your initiative and passion for the opportunity.
And all the hard work doesn’t stop when the interview ends. Following up after the interview and asking an interviewer for feedback should be a key part of your jobseeking process. So instead of spending your time wondering ‘why haven’t they called’, get out there and do something about it.
The worst thing you can do at an interview?
OK, so out of all the classic interview nightmares, which are the ones that really worry jobseekers the most?
We spoke to a group of university students to find out – and see if recruiters actually agree…
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