Let’s face it: competition is fierce. Long gone were the days when good grades were enough to get you into your dream job market. As well as acquiring enough relevant work experience, you must master the application process and then the interview process.
Of course, there is no definitive way to claim your desired job. Without wanting to sound too cheesy, dedication, motivation and enthusiasm are prerequisites to any interview process. Imagine that the interview is an opportunity to show the interviewer what you can do.
Here are my top tips to master job interviews…
Practice Makes Perfect
There is an endless wealth of material online dedicated purely to the interview process with numerous practice interviews, hints and tips and CV advice. Check out the University of Kent’s online database which is packed full of interactive practice interviews! Before you jet off to any interview, make sure you practise your answers as you would with any test.
Learn, Learn and Learn
Research the company well and get in touch with people who have previously had interviews with the company. By impressing with your knowledge, you will automatically appear as a serious candidate.
On a similar note, make sure you know what’s on your CV. A common mistake cited by interviewers is the fact that many candidates forget what they’re written on there and get stumped for answers when asked about it! Re-read and re-read your CV. The interviewer will employ this as a stimulus for questions.
The ‘Star’ Technique
If you haven’t heard of this interview technique, get on the case! The technique is synonymous with competency-based interviews in which those interviewed must present examples of skill-based experiences. You must reflect on a time you perhaps led a project or helped someone in distress.
Competency-based interviews determine a candidate’s initiative and problem-solving qualities. Not only is the ‘Star’ technique professional but provides an interviewer with the key points he/she requires. Ultimately, the acronym ‘Star’ provides a structure to such questions:
Situation: Provide a concise description of the situation you were in: ‘Whilst working for Company X, I was appointed leader of…’
Task: Describe what was required as a result of the situation or a potential solution to the problem presented by it: ‘The Company required a workshop organised to…’
Action: Highlight how you overcame the situation: ‘I delegated tasks to…’
Result: Reflect positively on the situation, illustrating the results of your action: ‘The workshop successfully attracted 500 guests…’
Make your Mark
Make sure you stand out. Wearing a flash of colour means that you can never physically fade into the background – though don’t rock up to your interview in a bright green suit unless you’re applying to be a clown!
This is especially important for group interviews in which you need to make yourself memorable. Have confidence in your abilities and always speak positively of them.
Make sure you sell yourself and your abilities, so get CV advice from employers; ask them what you should include or not include to stand out.
If you get the job, then great! Make sure you follow through with what you’ve said in your working life. You’re not only judged in the interview but in your time with the company afterwards. If you don’t get the job, try not to be disheartened. Ask for formal feedback on how to improve and accept that there will be more opportunities in the future.
Do you agree with the tips covered? What other hints and tips do you know of? Comment below.
Jennifer Leung is currently a student at the University of Manchester. In her spare time, Jennifer volunteers for a charity and enjoys reading magazines. She writes for GKBC.
Originally posted 2012-12-11 22:32:38.
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