Sunday, November 2, 2014

Interview tips and tricks

So as I mentioned yesterday I have an interview this Wednesday which is interview number who knows but probably 50 since I have left tafe many years ago, including the ones with the recruitment agencies and the fake one I had to see what I needed to work on during interviews. Many people can't believe how many interviews I have had and to them interviews are scary when they aren't. So here are my tips for at least surviving any interviews you may have:
  • Arrive 10-15 minutes early- this is to do with first impressions and shows that you are eager and take the interview seriously. Also by planning to arrive 10-15 minutes early it does mean that if you get lost (it can happen!) its not the end of the world. I have turned up to interviews 45 minutes before I am due (one of the joys of catching public transport at times!) so I just find a place to have a coffee (or a diet coke in my case) and read a book. I have never been late to an interview but have been borderline on time which has made me feel stressed which gives a bad impression.
  • Google the company- in 80% of the interviews I have had they have asked me if I know what the company does. Googling the company means you at least have some idea of what they do and shows you have been proactive.
  • Dress nicely- regardless if the job sounds like its in a casual setting or not wear something nice. I tend to stick to black pants, heels or boots and a nice top. If the weather is hot I will wear a nice dress and heels again first impressions count.
  • Keep make up simple- I normally keep makeup to minimum on most days (mascara and tinted moisturiser) so for interviews I will wear a bit of blush and do a touch of eye shadow but stick to neutral colours (so no blue eye shadow or silver eye liner!). I find it gives me more confidence but only wear what you are comfortable wearing.
  • Its ok to be nervous- I have been told it shows the company that you are taking the interview seriously. I still get freaked out by interviews though somewhat less (I can now eat before them!), it doesn't matter if know the company really well or you are confident being nervous is fine and a good sign.
  • Don't feel the need to fill silences- this has been something I have had to work on, but silences are fine and in many interviews they will take notes so there will be a pause.
  • Eye contact!- I am the worst with eye contact and its only been in the past year or so I have been ok with it. This is a given as it shows you are confident and you aren't letting all your nerves get in your way. If its a panel interview give eye contact to the person who is asking the question then the rest of the panel.
  • Pray and take a deep breath before the interview- this a habit I have before I go into the building where the interview is taking place I pray then do some deep breathing exercises I use to keep my anxiety under control. This relaxes me and reminds me that God is in control, its the one thing that I make sure I do before any interview and it just helps me stay focused.
  • Put your phone on silent!- trust me on this one, there is nothing worse than having a phone go off in the middle of a interview, its just rude. The one time I forgot to put my phone on silent I got a text message reminding me of an appointment I had for Rikki to do with receiving his booster injections, it wasn't that important and the noise was a distraction.
  • Reward yourself after the interview- after every interview I make sure to reward myself sometimes it can be something small like treating myself to a drink other times I will let myself buy the book I have been wanting or going out to lunch with a friend. On Wednesday my reward will be going to my favourite shop on Thursday and letting myself buy something.
Below are two tables I have found on Pinterest that I have found invaluable are well worth a look.

Source (the website is well worth a look if you are job seeker)

Hopefully the above tips have helped you and remember that if you screw up during an interview its not the end of the world and that one day you will laugh. I once almost knocked a chair into a glass wall at the time I freaked out but now I just laugh. At then end of the day just do your best and realise that its in God's hands not yours.

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