This is how it typically goes:
I remember my first job interview – I was seventeen years old and so nervous I couldn’t stomach any food.
Since then, I’ve done so many job interviews I’ve lost count, but the nerves have never gone away. There’s something about job interviews that put people on edge, and rightly so – it’s your one shot to make a great first impression and basically justify in your own words why you deserve the job.
Whilst the nerves might never go away, it doesn’t mean you’re cursed with horrible job interviews the rest of your life. Here are six top tips on how you can ace an interview – whether it be for work experience, a part-time job or your dream career.
Once you’ve been offered an interview, the first thing you should do is go back and look at the job description. Not only will this refresh your memory on the tasks and skills the company is looking for, but it can also help you prepare for some of the questions you might be asked by the interviewer.
Imagine the job description required that you ‘work well in a team’. It’s highly likely the interviewer would ask you to provide an example of how you have worked in a team in the past, and how you dealt with conflict in a team setting.
It is also a great way to ask the interviewer any questions that weren’t answered in the job description so you can find out more about the role.
Researching the company you have applied to is super important for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it doesn’t just help you learn more about the business and the industry they work in, it is also your chance to show the interviewer just how interested you are in working there. Going the extra mile to understand more about the company, its structure, its values and its people indicates that you want to understand how the company works and your desire to be a part of it all.
Make sure you find subtle ways to show you did your research – maybe mention how impressed you are by some of their recent projects or you admire the values they listed in their mission statement.
Jump on the company’s website and read up on their About page, learn who their key team members are and take the time to understand the sorts of values the company upholds. Have a look at their social media and LinkedIn page as well to keep up to date with what’s happening in their workplace.
I know, I know – there’s a lot of research involved for a job interview. But trust me, every bit is worth it!
Along with researching the company, it’s also a good idea to research some popular job interview questions so you can prepare your answers before the interview. Preparing your answers will help with the nerves and means you can memorise all the important information you want the interviewer to know about you. It’s basically your chance to prepare the best answers possible so you can put your best foot forward.
Some of the most common questions include:
And one last thing – where you can, try and link your answers back to the role you are applying for to show you have the passion and skills needed for the job!
Interviewers almost always ask if you have any questions at the end of the interview – and to be honest, they’re expecting you to say ‘yes!’. It shows you have thought seriously about this job, done your research and are curious to know more.
This is why research is important – you can ask general questions like ‘what’s the best part of working for this company?’,
but this is also a perfect opportunity to show that you’ve done some extra research and are eager to know more about the business. For example, you could ask about the business motto or the company’s up and coming projects.
I cannot emphasise this enough – dress to impress! This is the first impression you’ll make, and it probably won’t go down to well if you show up for an interview in shorts, a dirty shirt and uncombed hair.
Dress appropriately and professionally, as if you were starting your first day in the company then and there.
You might think the interview is over once you leave the building, but its not! Send an email afterwards – preferably on the same day – thanking the interviewer for their time. Not only is it a nice thing to do,
It also makes you stand out from the crowd
and shows that you are genuinely interested in the job.
To make it even more personal, you could even mention something that resonated with you from the interview – maybe you enjoyed hearing about the interviewer’s history with the company, or you admired how the employees seemed to really enjoy working there.
Now go get em’!
Now you’re ready to ace your interview! And remember, even if you don’t get the job or you walk away from the interview feeling like you didn’t do your best, you can still learn from it for next time!
Every experience will teach you something
PS. If you have any personal tips or work experience stories then we’d love to hear them! Drop a comment or send an email to the Grandshake team at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured on our blog and help other students find their future pathways! #letsgrandshake
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