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The dreaded job interview! You’ve heard the stories, now it’s finally time to tackle your first one. If an employer has invited you to an interview, congratulations, they obviously think you could be a suitable candidate – most employers won’t waste their time seeing everyone who applies.
But are job interviews as scary as they are made out to be? Most of the time, ‘No’, they aren’t. Sure, you will be nervous, that is only natural, but if you prepare properly and make an effort to impress you can go into the interview with confidence.
Bear in mind that employers will usually work out that you haven’t been for a job interview before after reading your CV – so there will be no Sir Alan Sugar style grillings!
Once an employer has asked you to come for an interview (they may call it a meeting or chat, but you should still follow the same steps below) you’ll probably start wondering how to prepare, what to wear etc…Don’t fret, here’s a handy Get Connected guide:
If the company you want to work for has a website, use it to find out more about the organisation. They will usually have an ‘about us’ section which will summarise how they work, what they stand for, how many people they employ, etc…
Take this information and prepare a couple of questions for the end of the interview (99.9% of the time you’ll be asked at the end if you have any questions of your own). By showing some initiative and having a few questions prepared, you’ll more than likely impress your potential employer.
The sorts of things you might ask include, ‘will I receive training for..?’, ‘will I have to travel between sites/offices?’, ‘how many people will I be working with?’, etc…
Always try to look smart for an interview. Your potential employer will note that you have made an effort which shows you are taking the interview process seriously. Even if you know that once offered the job you can wear casual clothes, the first impression you make will stick in the interviewers mind – make it count!
Plan your journey beforehand and check the times of any buses or trams you need to catch. Set off to your interview with plenty of time to spare. If you arrive early you can use this spare time to compose yourself and go over any questions or bits of information. Almost time to go in…
Nerves are completely natural. Footballers, musicians and TV presenters all get nervous before performing or speaking in front of someone they don’t know – even if they have done it a thousand times before.
Your potential employer is looking for you to show your personality. They will also understand that this is your first job interview from looking at your CV, so take a deep breath, smile and greet them with a firm handshake.
Don’t bite your nails or scratch and try to make eye contact with them. Practice on friends or family first. It may sound silly, but looking people you don’t know in the eye is quite a hard skill to master.
Above all think positively.
Always remember to listen to the questions asked, take a moment to think and then answer. Don’t be afraid to ask them to rephrase the question to make it easier for you to understand.
By following these simple steps, you’ll give yourself every chance at the interview stage. Don’t be too disappointed if your first interview isn’t successful, all experience is good experience in this case.
It really annoys employers when people take calls on their mobiles during an interview. If you have a mobile, switch it off!