Job Interview tips

There are books on interview tips, see if your local library has one and have a read, but remember that that not all advice is appropriate for every job. You do need to use your own common sense a bit.

  • Dress appropriately. Always try and be smart and clean but do dress for the job. Don’t turn up in 4 inch heels and Armani if the job is warehouse supervisor, or in Doc Martins and combats if the job is makeup consultant in a post department store.
  • Don’t take anything with you that you don’t need for the interview. I know you are probably wondering ‘like what’? But I’ve interviewed people that said ‘will the interview take long as my dog is tied up outside’ and a woman that brought at least a weeks shopping with her in carrier bags that she calmly placed around her chair.
  • As mentioned in the ‘Top tips for applications’ post, know about the company and the job.
  • Ensure you kept a copy of your application/CV and read it prior to the interview, you don't want to contradict something you said and you may be asked questions that refer back to it.
  • Have some answers ready for some of the most commonly asked interview questions.
  • Why do you want the job?
  • What can you bring to the job/this company?
  • What do you know about this job already?
  • What do you think we are looking for?
  • How would your friends describe you?
  • Describe yourself in 3 words. (pick three different things, don’t go too wild or too tame! Be honest, examples might include, fun, honest, enthusiastic, industrious, conscientious, diligent, reliable, punctual, astute…)
  • Name a strength and a weakness you have. (of course you need a weakness that sounds like a strength ‘I’m a workaholic’ sounds too pat and forced though, so go for some thing honest but not too creepy, ‘I’m impatient, so sometimes I find it hard to let people make mistakes when I know I can help’ ‘I’m happy, people might see me as not serious’ ‘I can be serious about my work and people might see me as unfriendly but I’m working on that!’ for example). Strengths are easier, pick one from the three words to describe yourself you thought of earlier.

Make sure you have a question or two of your own but ensure they are not about holidays or pay unless you really have no idea what the pay is for the job! (you should have been able to find this from the advert, the application pack or as a last resort via phone call before the interview) Good questions might be about training or job progression, though don’t seem to keen to move on – you haven’t got this job yet!

Be yourself. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and don’t be afraid to say you don’t know the answer to things, as long as you can show the interviewer that you are keen to learn and are a quick learner it may not matter.

Relax. Sit still in your chair. Put your hands in your lap and try and keep them there! Try not to fiddle with your hair, your flies(!), your nails etc.

Nervous? Offered a cup of tea? Politely decline, you will have no time to talk and drink, you’ll shake and might spill the tea. Have a coffee after the interview is over!

Good luck

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