Job Hunting is a long process and takes effort to keep up the motivation and stay positive about the roles you are applying for.
So keep reviewing what you did in your CV and when you Apply for roles.
Your hard work has paid off and you have the chance to interview for a role. This is fantastic and you should be proud.
The main thing to remember about interviews is that is a two way process. They are trying to find out if you would be suitable for the role and whether you would work well within the existing structure and you are trying to find out whether you would be happy to work for the organisation. This is normally the chance you get to meet your would-be boss. There is nothing wrong with not feeling comfortable with the people who interview you, that is a valid reason to turn down a job offer. I know from experience that the people you work with are often the most important part of a job, beside the work itself, and if you are not happy being around them you won’t enjoy your time there, so on this go with you first impressions if you trust them. If it is just nerves it is up to you.
First up you need to research the organisation and where the role fits in. You don’t have to know everything, but showing you have been on the website, looked at their annual report or other publications and researched the are sector they work in shows initiative and interest. I often get caught in the trap of treating this like a test and start ‘revising’. It does work for me, but can be stressful to think that way as it is not a test and you can’t fail in that sense.
Think about questions they might ask. Search online for possible interview questions and plan some answers. Make sure you have stories to tell about your experiences and how you apply your skills in certain situations. Situational questions are popular and there are no right or wrong answers, they want to know you process and basically how you would go about solving a problem. Try to use different parts of your role to demonstrate your experience, but do not worry if you have to repeat a particular project or situation as long as you show you understand the question and can provide an answer.
Possible interview questions:
- Tell us about yourself?
- What are your strengths and/or weakness?
- How would you go about…?
- Why are you suitable for the role?
- Questions related to new developments in your area.
- Questions about certain aspects of your CV.
There are thousands of questions they could ask and don’t get bogged down in the detail. make sure you know your CV and what they are looking for and apply the CV to that. I go about this by scribbling notes next to the person specification. I write projects I have lead or been part of next to role responsibilities to ensure I have examples for everything if possible. I write down where I lack experience or knowledge so it doesn’t surprise me and I can acknowledge in the interview.
If they ask you do a presentation make sure you give yourself plenty of time to prepare. They would normally give you a week’s notice if asking for a 10 minute presentation, but that is not always the case. Research the topic you have to present on. You won’t find out everything, but pick out some key points and how it relates to the organisation. You are trying to show you can pick up things quickly, apply your current knowledge and experience and then relate it to the role you are interviewing for. I often prefer interviews with presentations as it breaks the ice and gets the interview going.
Also make sure you prepare a few questions to be able to ask the interviewers in return. They could be simple and relate to working hours and salary, but it is also good to show an interest in the future of the company and how the role fits into it. Also if you find anything during your research into the company you would like further information about. It is best to have a few prepared in case they answer everything during the discussion, but do not worry if they do and you haven’t got anything else to ask. Often it can be a bit of an information overload hour,.
Next look up where you are going and how you will get there. Can you walk? Do you need to travel? Where is a car park? Where is the train station? How much will it cost? How long will it take to get there? Print out a map and directions and take them with you.
Finally what will you wear? I don’t own a suit so I pair smart trousers with a smart top or jumper or cardigan depending on the weather. Make sure you wear shows you can walk in. It is about looking professional. Once you are in the door and in the interview no one will noticing what you are wearing, but you have to walk through the door!
Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early. I often arrive 30-60 minutes early depending on where i am going and have a coffee, review my notes and keep calm.
I hope you enjoyed this mini series. Have you got any tips for job hunting you would like to share?