Today I’m going to be talking about and giving you some helpful tips with the most dreaded of things… job interviews!
Now job interviews can be scary and pretty bloody nerve racking before you head in but the key is just being yourself and showcasing your talents. They have already liked something about you and think you possibly could do the role based on your CV alone, you just need to go in there and slay them.
One thing you have to remember is, it’s not just about them seeing if you fit their company; it’s also about seeing if their company fits you.
A company could think you’re perfect for a role but you couldn’t think of anywhere worse to work after going in for the interview. If they offer you the role, just remember you don’t have to take it. You are in the same position as before they offered it and you haven’t lost anything – you’ve just gained more interview experience.
You need to dress professionally and appropriately for the interview. So put away those busted vans I know you love so much and get out those proper smart shoes you only wear on special occasions and weddings. Bust out the iron and give your fanciest, smartest outfit the once over. Brush your hair and have a shower, make yourself presentable AF.
I hate saying it as I am tattooed and have funky hair, but cover that ink up honey and make sure your hair is looking presentable. You need to put your best foot forward. I’m also of the mindset that “my tattoo’s don’t mean I can’t do my job” but that’s not how some places view it, especially if you’re customer facing. You can always broach the question on the companies feelings towards tattoos during the interview, which is what I tend to do. My interviewers are usually shocked when I say how many tattoo’s I’ve got, because only my wrist and hand ink is on show.
Be prepared. Do your research and make notes! It comes across that you’ve actually thought ahead and are interested in the company and what they do. I tend to make notes on my laptop and take that with me, I come across more “tech savvy” and “environmentally friendly” that way. It also opens up the interview to chat about Apple (my laptop is a Mac) should they be an Apple fan or not!
They are going to ask what your weakness is. It’s a standard interview question. My top tip for this is to list a weakness but demonstrate how you’re turning it into a strength. I use the fact I’m a perfectionist as my weakness, but how am I turning this into a strength I hear you ask! I am working to make sure that I use better judgement on situations, I don’t need to be so anal about everything. If time keeping is your weakness, you can say you’ve set your clocks early to make sure you arrive early instead of late. If your confidence is your weakness, you can say that you’ve been challenging yourself to do one thing a week you wouldn’t usually do to increase your confidence levels.
Eye contact is so important during an interview. It shows you’re focused and paying attention to what your interviewer is saying. It also shows confidence and self esteem. Look your interviewer in the eye, don’t shy away! Plus, don’t forget to smile!
Talk slowly and clearly. I have a habit of talking fast and babbling in my day to day life so I really have to focus on not doing this during an interview. There is nothing wrong with saying “That’s a great question, let me take a moment to think..” then answer. If you’re not sure, there also nothing wrong with asking for clarification. Asking for clarification means you’re not going to answer incorrectly and makes sure that you don’t give an answer that is way, way off the mark.
Interview them! When they ask if you have any questions; this is your time to shine and will make you seem far more appealing to them. I tend to ask things like “Why do YOU like coming here everyday” “If you could describe the company in three words what would you say?” “What have the failings of this role in the past been and what has been put in place to overcome them in the future?” and my personal favourite “What is the companies 5 year growth plan?” You’ll come across confident and like you’re weighing up other options against their answers. It also shows you’re interested in the future of the company and where it’s headed and the failings in the past, so you can improve on them when and if they decide to employ you.
Listen to what’s being said, but don’t wait to talk. People are often nervous in a job interview so miss an opportunity to create a connection with the person interviewing. them. If they make a joke, lord give it a laugh. They are trying to ease your nerves, don’t let it go wasted.
Know what you want. People will ask why you applied for the role and the response “I need money so I can feed myself and pay my bills” doesn’t usually cut it. So research the company and study the job spec prior to your interview; what do you like about it? What interests you? Add this to your notes and spout this when they ask, it will show you haven’t just applied for anything and you actually thought about the role comprehensively!
If you’re like me you’ll need to give yourself some kind words prior. I have a playlist of uplifting and mood boosting songs that I pop on during the drive over. I also give myself a pep talk in the mirror while I do my make up. Sounds ridiculous I know but for me, it really works.
The main thing to remember is you can do this. You are great. You slay. Go out and get yourself that new job. Chase your dreams honey and take the bull by the horns!