Panic – that’s what most of us do as soon as we’re given an interview for something we really want. Handling the finer details prior to your interview can make all the difference. It can help you stay calm and confident. Here are some tips to tell you how.
First, preparation and research are key to a successful interview. I usually aim to try to develop an understanding of the business, where the role that I have applied for fits into it, and to prepare a few model questions and answers to help me deal with my nerves.
Use your online network to your advantage
Don’t just do your basic research on the company website – go the extra mile and get a wider insight into trends, opportunities and challenges.
LinkedIn is a useful tool to try and get the information from, with over 20 million UK users at present. It’s likely that the company will have a page, so check this out! Look at where the employees are from and you may come across an employee that you know. There are benefits to being connected to users in companies you aim to work for; for example, it can help you to recognise how people progress within the company, which could then form the basis of a question you could ask about career opportunities.
If you do happen to know someone who works for the company, ask them questions. Find out what it is like to work there, or maybe even ask about the interviewer.
CV & online checks
Integrity is a big must when it comes to jobs and interviews. 80% of employers are now searching candidate’s names online; social media profiles always rank high, meaning they will appear first. With that in mind, make sure what you have said on your CV, matches your online profile. Ensure the dates correspond with each other; different dates will make the employer question your honesty. Impose tighter privacy settings if you need to.
Revise your CV – Just like you would an exam paper. Failing to speak confidently and in detail about any points on your CV WILL make you lose marks. Use some of the information in an example to form a good story. Be prepared for questions about ‘gaps in employment’ and ‘reasons for leaving a company.’ Having a well-rehearsed answer for these types of questions will help you feel at ease.
Make sure that your clothes fit, are clean and in a good state a couple of days before the interview; if something is amiss, this gives you a bit of time to sort or replace it. Get someone to check your outfit for you and confirm that what you’re wearing is appropriate. Someone older than you is best, like a parent – a friend might tell you what they think you want to hear, rather than the truth. If you’re unsure of what to wear, or if the standard shirt-and-trousers doesn’t seem appropriate for your industry, try looking at the LinkedIn profiles of people who already work there. Their profile photos are their best effort at presenting a good work image, so copying them should be a safe option. For some jobs, such as retail or catering roles, it may be possible to go and see what current staff are wearing and adapt that for a more formal setting.
Sometimes, preparation is all it takes to help calm your nerves. Make notes as you’re preparing as you can always refer back to these.
– ADH Placements