So you’ve scored your dream job interview, congratulations! This is exciting, and a win in itself that you’ve made it to the short list. Once your excitement dies down I know that you’ll start to panic. Perhaps job interviews aren’t your strong suit, or maybe you’ve not been to many interviews. There are plenty of reasons to be nervous about job interviews, and everybody gets nervous, but I’m here to share my top tips to help get you through that next step in starting your dream job.
Managers love it when the person they are interviewing knows about their company and the work they do. More often than not “what do you know about our company” or “what do you know about X” is an interview question that every interviewee will have to answer. Nobody is expecting expert knowledge on their own company or line of work from someone who isn’t yet working for them but it’s always nice to see that someone has a genuine interest and passion in the company and work they do.
So how should you go about the research? What should you research? First things first, go to the company’s website. Check their mission statements, the company history, their company locations and of course make sure you know 100% the type of work they do, and then research the type of work they do. Of course, being your dream job, some of these you’ll already know but it’s always a good idea to make sure you’ve got every base covered.
Plan your interview outfit
This is important, but everyone has been guilty of overlooking this at least once. Don’t assume the outfit fits, is clean or is appropriate. If you’re not sure, ask friends and family. Have look at the company websites and social media, look at what the other employees pictured are wearing. When all else fails, always dress corporate. Make sure you check everything, including stockings if you plan on wearing them. Speaking of stockings… have a spare pair! Don’t get caught with ripped stockings for a job interview.
Plan your travel to the interview
Make sure you have enough time to arrive at your interview 15 minutes prior to start time. This gives enough time for you to complete any pre-interview paperwork but makes sure you aren’t so early that it puts pressure on those interviewing you. Where possible, make the trip prior to your interview time. I recommend making the trip twice before, once at a quiet time of day or night so you can take your time and become familiar with where you a re going and then again at a time close to your interview time so that you can anticipate any travel delays. Of course, this isn’t always possible and that’s okay too! The main thing is that you’re prepared: know where you’re going, how you’re getting there and when you need to leave.
Have some questions ready for after the interview
Prepare any questions you might have for the recruiters at the end of the interview, it further shows your interest. Some questions I always ask are:
- What does a typical day in this job role look like?
- What’s the best part about working for this company?
- When do you expect to move on to the next phase of recruitment?
- Will I hear from you if I don’t move forward?
Early to bed, early to rise
Have an early night before! The worst thing you can do is stay up overthinking your interview or stressing about it. Being well-rested will ensure you’re awake and alert for your interview and on your a-game. Set an alarm that gives you ample time to get up, moving and ready in the morning. Set two alarms in case you sleep through one if you have to! Rushing will make the whole event much more stressful for you.
This is a lot easier said than done, but be confident. Confidence speaks volumes, show the recruiters that you know you’re a good fit for this job. Practice a firm handshake if you need to, smile and speak assertively (not dominantly) and trust yourself. You already got the interview, the recruiters already know you have something to offer! Now you just have to deliver that something. Yes, I know, confidence is easier said than done but here’s my little trick… I fake it. I have anxiety that, at times, can be debilitating but I have never let it get in the way of work – even at a time where I was having panic attacks on the way to work every single morning. How? I did drama in high school, that’s how. I started playing a part of confident Grace. Eventually, once I start the job, confident Grace becomes real Grace, because I become comfortable with my surroundings and those I’m working with.
Follow up after the interview
If you can send a follow up email to the person who interviewed you. It doesn’t need to be long or complicated, just a thank you for their time, it was great meeting them and you look forward to hearing from them soon.
Hopefully this helps you feel more prepared for your next interview! If you have any questions or there’s anything else you’re not sure about when it comes to your job interviews feel free to get in contact, I’m always happy to help.
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