Monday, 18 February 2019

Top Tips To Ace Your Job Interview

We all know how it goes. You send out application after application with very little responses, and when somebody finally offers you an interview, it rarely works out. Sometimes it feels like you have to attend 100 different interviews before you finally get an offer for a job.

A bit of backstory. The past 6 months I've been dealing with a lot of personal stuff that, unfortunately, affected the way I was working. I ended up jumping from job to job quicker than you can change your socks. I'm feeling a lot better now and I've finally reached out for help, and I've managed to grab myself a little part time job in a lovely restaurant. However, even though I kept chopping and changing jobs, I received an offer after every interview I attended. My friend Brenna mentioned that I seem to be really good at getting jobs, so I thought I'd share my tips and tricks for acing a job interview.

1. Send a Thank You Email
Even though this is something that you do after an interview, as opposed to during, it is my most valuable trick. Simply write an email addressed to the person who interviewed you, and thank them for the opportunity. Reiterate why you'd be a great asset to the team, and why you want to work there. It's so easy, and literally takes 2 minutes. Keep it short and sweet, just a paragraph or two, and you're golden! Since I started doing this, I've never been refused a job.

2. Do Your Pre-Interview Research!
Knowing a bit of backstory about the company that you want to work for can be really helpful. If they have a website or a social media page, check it out! Nobody likes a clueless interviewee, and I find that most of the questions I want to ask are because of something on the website, which brings me onto my next tip.

3. Ask Questions!
You don't need to wait until the end of an interview to ask questions, do it as you go along. Some questions may be a little obvious during the conversation, but it shows that you're really interested, and actually listening to the information they're telling you. Of course, questions at the end are really important too. Even though you're interviewing for them, you need to be happy in the position, so ask whatever you need to know! I often like to ask what a general day would like look for somebody in that particular role. You can find lists and lists of good questions to ask in an interview, just have a quick google!

4. Manners Are Key
If you've been shown to a room to sit and wait, always stand up to greet the person interviewing you, and reach for a handshake. I always found this really difficult because I get so nervous, but it lasts 2 seconds and is generally expected. If you don't reach for the handshake first, they will. Show them you're actually happy to be there and have the opportunity to talk to them by doing it first!
Smile, keep eye contact, and keep your body language open. Crossed arms, hands in pockets, or constantly playing with your hair, doesn't really look great. Just keep your back straight, and your shoulders relaxed, with your hands on your lap or on the table in front of you. 

5. Dress for the Job
This is a really obvious one, but you'll be surprised how many people don't dress appropriately for an interview. The jobs I interview for generally have a smart-casual dress code, so a nice pair of jeans and one of my fancier tops does the trick. Alternatively, for a more 'professional' job, like working in an office, you may want to upgrade those jeans so a pair of simple black trousers and an appropriate jacket.

6. Enjoy Yourself
At the end of the day, you're meeting somebody new with something to offer, so engage with them and be friendly. It may seem daunting, but it's just a conversation, so talk to them the way you'd talk to anybody else.

And that's it! Really simple, but really effective. Of course, if you're interviewing for a job that you're really not the right fit for, or have no experience in, you may not find these tips overly useful. But for those of you, like myself, who have a preferred profession and experience, they'll be happy to have met you. Don't forget the thank you email!

I hope these are helpful to some of you, and I'll see you soon!

Ciao for now, 
Katie x