How to impress in your job interview
After spending hours searching online and filling out countless applications forms, securing an interview places you one step closer to landing your dream job. However, with a number of other candidates vying for the position there’s still one hurdle to overcome; as you need to find a way to successfully sell yourself to these potential employers. Of course, for graduates fresh from university, this can often be a brand new and nerve-wrecking experience.
Paul Stewart is the Managing Director of Belfast based student shipping company, UniBaggage.com. Having hired a number of recent graduates, Paul has some tips for new job seekers preparing for that all-important interview.
1. The key to success with any job interview is preparation. Before you jump into the car on the day of your interview, make sure you know the location, how long it will take you to get there, the dress code and who you’re meeting. Know the format of the interview; it is an informal one on one, or is this a presentation in front of a panel? Prepare any materials you have been asked to bring. Being organised will ease your nerves, enabling you to focus solely on the task at hand.
2. Research the company. There’s nothing more unprofessional than turning up for a job interview with no clue what the company does or what this position will entail. Get familiar with the company’s website and social media pages. Employers want candidates who are keen and knowledgeable about the business.
3. Manage your online reputation. As well as looking at the company’s own Facebook and Twitter profiles, take quick look at your own. Many employers research candidates online, so make sure you’re not courting controversy or publishing any offensive comments. Are you comfortable with how you are perceived online? If not, adjust your privacy settings or delete any questionable material. There are also various apps you can use that will sweep your social profiles and detect any profanity or offensive terms.
4. Read your CV. Your job application should be an outline of your skills, background and achievements – so make sure you can expand on these in the interview. The employers were initially impressed with you on paper, so make sure you can match or exceed their expectations in person.
5. Ask questions – but not just for the sake of it. As much as you’re trying to prove that you are the perfect fit for this position, you need to discover if this is the right job for you. Before the interview, ask yourself what you want to gain from this role and prepare some questions that will help you ascertain this. Is there room for career progression? What are the working hours? Will this job be office based?
Finally, show your personality. Don’t let your nerves rule you on the day. Be as friendly and approachable as possible. If you get the job, you will be working alongside these employers for, potentially, a number of years, so they will want to get a sense of who you are and how you could integrate into the team. Take time and think about your answers and let the conversation flow naturally.