Interviews are tricky and it is very easy to let your nerves get the better of you. Many people find themselves rambling on too much to avoid awkward pauses and going off on wild tangents when asked tricky questions such as: ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’.
However, with the right preparation and approach, you will be able to show off your best qualities and improve your chances of landing the job you have always wanted.
One of the most important things employers look for is confidence. This is easier said than done, especially when you are a graduate or school leaver and are heading into interviews for the first time.
It is important not to get discouraged and to accept that you might not get a job offer from every interview. If you’re unsuccessful, make sure you at least learn something for the next interview.
Try also to answer every question positively. Employers look for people who have the right attitude. So, even if you hated every part of your last job, when asked ‘why you are looking to change role?’ try to focus on the positives. Highlight the reasons why you want to move to their job, rather than dwelling on the push factors that saw you look for the exit door.
You also need to plan ahead. The worst thing you can do is turn up late, flustered and bedraggled for your interview. On the night before, make sure you’ve double checked how to get there, laid out your smartest (and ironed!) clothes and allowed enough time for a good night’s sleep. Set your alarm nice and early and have a good breakfast that will keep your energy levels up throughout the day.
But that’s not all, it is always a good idea to do some research beforehand. If, for example, you are looking for job in education – such as the teaching and teaching assistant jobs here – then take time to research your chosen school thoroughly. Read about their ethos, check out their latest news and, importantly, look at their Ofsted report for information.
The logic applies to other industries too. Useful information is freely available that will help to make you an informed candidate, search this out and use it in your interview to good effect. It also helps you to show the interviewer that you care about the job and have a genuine interest in the position.
What about the time at which you have your interview? GlassDoor offers some tips on the best times to go for, if given a choice over the matter. If not, don’t feel obliged to accept the first time you are offered. If it’s not convenient for you to get to an interview first thing in the morning because you are travelling on public transport, then say so. Interviewees will often have a little flexibility, within reason, so there’s no need to back yourself into a corner and give yourself something else to worry about.