Student and Graduate Publishing

5 Must Do’s for an Interview

Monday, 13 October 2014 12:12

You’re not alone if the word interview brings an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness and pressure. Interviews are a daunting prospect that many struggle with. However an interview with little nerves and pressure is all down to preparation. The better you prepare, the better you will perform. How do I prepare you ask? With these 5 must do’s we say!

1# Meal Prep
Imagine you’re about to cook your favourite meal, and imagine how you would put the utmost effort into every stage of it to ensure it tasted delicious. Apply this to preparing for your interview. The recipe is your preparation and your interview is the meal. Begin by analyzing the job role and description. What stands out to you most? What parts do you think you will excel at? What parts are you eager to learn? Jot these down and start to think about what skills and experiences you have that match the criteria. Remember the employer is looking to see if you’re capable of doing what is required.

Tip 1
Be familiar with Competency Based Interview (CBI) questions. These questions are designed to see how you react and respond to specific situations.

Tip 2
Be familiar with the STAR Format job interview technique. STAR stands for: Situation, Task, Action and Result. This technique is well known for its predictability of future performance.

Tip 3
Do your research on the company and industry. It is great to know their mission statement, but they know that already. Dig deeper and find aspects that take your interest to discuss.

2# The Ace of Spades or the Joker?

As a graduate we all know what you would rather be on the day of your interview. Arrive on time and dress smart. Boys, not too flashy. Keep the brown shoes for your work nights out. Girls, keep the accessories to a minimum. Also, we know you’re attached to the memories your festival bands hold (as are we), but tuck them away out of sight or chop them off.

3# Body Language

Your body language can make or break an interview. You need to be able to communicate both verbally and nonverbally. Grab your interviewers interest at the “Hello” with a smile and a warm handshake. Avoid touching, rubbing or scratching yourself, folding your arms, crossing your legs and slouching in your seat. These will all show that you´re unfocused and disinterested. Do sit forward slightly, keep an interested expression and make positive gestures. These will all show your enthusiasm and that you’re engaged. 

4# Strengths vs. Weaknesses

It is a common to be asked about your strengths and weaknesses. Although it is great to acknowledge and highlight your strong points, it is of great value to be able to acknowledge your weaknesses too. Recognizing where you would like to improve and grow shows the employer a great sense of maturity and that you´re adaptable to change(s). Admitting to no weakness can be a costly move.

#5 Take the Floor
There is no doubt that the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions. If in the case that they don’t, ask if you can ask some questions. This is your chance to take the floor, use this to your advantage. Only ask questions if you’re genuinely interested in hearing the answer to. Asking questions around the research you did is a good start.

Bonus Tip
Reiterate your interest in the job with a thank you email. Use this opportunity to restate why you want the job and why you’re the ideal candidate. It is best to send the follow up email within 24 hours of the interview.

StudentJob.co.uk is a job portal specifically dedicated to the employment needs of students and graduates. For graduate job opportunities and part-time job opportunities, head over to www.studentjob.co.uk

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