How To Ace Any Job Interview - What Employers Don't Tell You
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Whether you’re looking at this period of your life as a challenge, or a rather inconvenient adventure, it’s essential to be ahead of the game. You need to keep on practising your interview skills, so that you stand out from the rest before, during and after you have been interviewed for a new job. I know it can be really daunting. I have had many interviews in my job-seeking history and even been involved in the recruitment process in a previous job.
Here’s everything I learned on the way - my tips and tricks to land your dream job:
Social Media Persona
Before the job-hunting game kicks off, make sure you’re on LinkedIn and replace your ravey Facebook profile picture with something more professional-looking. Your future employer doesn’t need to know how much fun you’ve had sunbathing on Ibiza; neither do they care about how much you love a cheeky pint or what outfit you pulled off at Pride.
It’s an unspoken truth that employers will track you down to find out more about the real you. Make sure you look professional, trustworthy, friendly and, why not…? - creative.
Once A Stalker
Social media comes with many downsides, but let’s focus on the benefits. When used wisely (creepy FBI agent mode on), social media platforms can make life easier. They can, for example, reveal a lot about your interview panelists. What’s their profile picture like? Favorite music, films, TV shows?
Whereas recruitment decisions are made based on objective criteria, let’s face it… people are drawn towards individuals with whom they share common interests. Look your interviewers up. If they like Elvis, you like Elvis too. You never know where the post or pre interview chit-chat can lead to.
First impressions do matter
Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. You know you’ve got to wear a suitable outfit and be there on time. You also know you should put your nervousness to the side and try to look cool, calm and collected. As well as shaking hands and smiling it’s also crucial to maintain non-awkward eye contact throughout the interview.
Get ready to roll
Ensure you have checked out their website and are familiar with person specific facts. Prepare and memorise information and answers to possible questions. Be ready to get asked wide-ranging questions, including scenario, behaviour and experience based ones.
Research question techniques like S.T.A.R. and learn to read between the lines to present your skills and experience in the best way possible. Make sure your examples are relevant and well-described. Don’t forget to ask a few questions at the end and hand your CV alongside any other materials you find relevant.
Fake it until you make it
Interviews are stressful (evil, evil!) procedures designed to enable employers evaluate your ability to handle highly stressful situations and get things done while under pressure. You might not be in good spirits or haven’t slept well, but don’t let that show.
You need to come across as confident and feed their ego; show them that you admire their work and have confidence in yourself, but you aren’t too much of a trouble to supervise.
Shine bright like a diamond
You are not just your application and you’re more than just a CV. While it’s advised to expand on your skills, knowledge, values, and experience, it’s equally important to let your very best characteristics and traits show.
You might be the flamboyant type, particularly humorous or quirky… let your personality shine through instead of pretending you are something you are not just for the sake of the job – chances are, your real colours will show during the first week in the new company anyways. However, If in doubt, I always ask myself: ‘What would Rihanna do?’.
You have applied for the job, you have been invited to, and completed, the interview (phew!) so, it’s now time for that final glittery touch. It might sound unnecessary, but you need to make sure your interviewers are aware of your excitement and appreciation to have been chosen as one of their shortlisted candidates.
How about, following your interview, you send them a ‘Thank You’ e-mail to let them know? Not a bad idea, eh?
And breathe. And breathe again. And again… Still on board? If so, I’m sure these tips have boosted your chances of landing a thrilling, if not your dream, job. Don’t get too disheartened if you don’t succeed right away – practice makes perfect (… they say), or at least, better.
And, as my friend never fails to remind me, remember, it’s a numbers game. You’ve got this.
Written by Maria Andreou
(Lifestyle and student writer)