Preparing for an interview can be a very daunting process. Especially when you’re only starting out in the working world. You need to figure out what to wear, and how to shake hands, and we haven’t even got to what you should say yet.
If you’re keen to earn some $$ of your own this summer but have no idea where to start, we’re here to help. From preparation to what to bring along, we’ve got all bases covered to help you ace your next interview.
Something that is key to acing an interview and showing the employer that you’re serious about the position is to do as much research about the position and the company as you can. Depending on the job you’ve applied for, you may be expected to know some information about the company, for example when it was founded and what its manifesto is. So researching before the interview is the best way to prepare. Even if you aren’t asked if you have company knowledge, bringing up some morals and values of the company while speaking about your interest in the position will make you stand out and show that you’re serious about wanting the job.
Bring a copy of your CV
Even though you’ve already sent your CV to the employer to apply for the position, it’s always a good idea to bring a copy yourself too. Most companies now will only accept online applications and a lot of the time will not have a physical copy for the interview. This is where your copy comes in handy! It’s great to have it out during the interview for the interviewer to glance at. This will lean them towards asking you things related to your CV and your past experience, which is a great way to steer the conversation in a direction where you can talk about your strengths and interests that connect you to the position.
Look presentable but remember it’s not a fashion show
What to wear for an interview can be tricky. It’s always hard to know if you should incorporate your personal style into an outfit or if you should stick to a white shirt and black slacks. Something to do when figuring out what to wear for an interview is to put together a uniform that you can use for any interview and just switch around a few items.
A recommended interview ‘uniform’ would be a nice plain trouser (cut of your choice), a white t-shirt or smart shirt tucked into the waistband of the trousers and a blazer thrown on top. We’d keep accessories to a minimum with a neat loafer on the feet and a small amount of jewelry like a small hoop and/or necklace.
Keep eye contact
Something that is so important to keep an employer engaged during an interview is to be sure you’re making eye contact with them while speaking. No matter what job you’re applying to, an employer will always look for good communication skills, and being able to hold eye contact with someone while speaking is a good sign of confidence and strong communication. If you’re someone who struggles with that, practice on a family member or even with yourself in the mirror, it can be quite easy to train a wandering eye.
Practice answering common q’s
There are practice interviews available online if you want to take a look at answers to general questions. For real practice it would be good to get someone who has interviewed before to sit down and go through the process with you, asking questions and giving you help with your answers. Going through what you’re going to say can give you a lot more confidence going into the interview because you will have a general idea of what direction you want the conversation to go.
Confidence is key in an interview! If you come across as shy or reserved, you won’t stand out to the employer and could just get lost with other applicants. This doesn’t mean that you need to walk into the room and do a handstand. If you’re a naturally quiet person you can show you’re confident through smiling or sitting up straight. This shows that you’re a people-person with good social skills and can work well in any situation you might be put in.
It can be hard to pull together confidence for interviews, especially when nerves get the better of you but once you’re through that door you have to try to push them to the side and if you’ve prepared then you have nothing to worry about. And remember, if you don’t get the job after any interview it doesn’t reflect on you, it simply means that the role wasn’t right for you. It can take a long time to finally land a job from when you begin, so keep that in mind when you feel like you’re facing rejection.
Written by Sadhbh O’Hara