It sounds glib but it’s a serious point. Remaining positive throughout your interview-quest will see you right. Stumbling – downtrodden – into a job interview situation is a sure-fire way to make a mess of the interview. People don’t hire losers; they hire winners. Stay positive and stride into that room like a winner.
Treat the job interview like you would treat an exam. You have to revise and get your story straight from the outset. Research the company on Google and make sure that you have ready-made answers to competency-based questions (gleaned from the job description). Use everyday situations from roles you’ve performed in the past.
STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result)
Make sure that you use the STAR system to demonstrate your competency and plan for interview questions based on your experience:
- Situation: you found yourself in a challenging position – what was it?
- Task: you set yourself to resolve the issue – how did you do this?
- Action: what did you do, what were the alternatives – how did you decide?
- Result: outline the result of your actions – how did it go well, what did you learn?
Manage Your Nerves
It’s okay to be nervous – your interviewer expects this. But remember: they picked your name out of many (sometimes hundreds) of other names and they would not have done that if they didn’t think that you were capable of doing the job. If you have a wait before you are called for interview then read calmly through your notes or even read through your CV. (If you don’t have a razor-sharp CV then start with a CV Template.) The interview is your opportunity to demonstrate it to them.
Don’t Fear The Questions
All interview questions are ultimately asking you why you deserve the job. Take your time when you answer. Rather pause and reflect than rush and speak gibberish. If you get flustered, start again and apologize; you’re only human and they will appreciate your openness.
Strengths And Weaknesses
People tie themselves in knots over this one. Try to think of examples of how you struggled with a situation and you have moved to overcome it. For example, “I always struggled using spreadsheets so I’ve started an online course with Microsoft to build my confidence and I’ve come on leaps and bounds.” If you think about it, you’ll have a heap of examples like this. We all have.
The Final Question
At then end of the interview, you may get asked, “Do you have any questions for us?” This is another area that people worry about. It would be okay to not have a question but if you do your homework and keep your eyes and ears open, you should be bursting with questions:
- “I noticed on your website that you are moving into commercial carpets – is this going to be a focus for the company? It’s an interesting move”
- “When I arrived this morning I noticed some building work going on, are you expanding?”