Want a business career? you will need a job interview first!
Job interview advice
If startup ideas are not really your thing or it may be in the future but right now you would rather have a job its likely that you will need to undergo a job interview. I have outlined things that you need to keep in mind when attending the interview
Research the company’s profile and background
Amazingly some people don’t know much about the company they are applying to work for. This is not just a few less educated candidates who forget to do their homework, candidates on the BBC TV show ‘The Apprentice’ have come unstuck when asked questions about Alan sugars other businesses at the interview stage of the show. Make sure you know the company’s history and philosophy so you can link the company’s aims to yours when highlighting to them that you would be the best individual for the job.
Think of questions to ask your interviewer
Don’t ask questions for the sake of it and don’t ask obvious ones as this will make you look lazy. It’s very unlikely you will have no questions to ask them so make sure you have a few lined up to ask them at the end, this will show you have a genuine interest in working for their company in the long term.
Practice with a peer
Practice makes perfect. Google interview questions for (type position) for (type company name) it’s likely for big companies you will be ale to find interview questions that they use. I have always found smaller companies have harder job interviews, maybe its because I have always been a bit more unsure of the interview questions.
Dress well for the interview.
It doesn’t matter what position your going for, dress smartly and cleanly. No-one will employ someone that doesn’t make the effort when dressing up for an interview.
Be physically prepared
Make sure you go to the toilet and eat and drink something before the interview. You don’t want to be sitting there needing the toilet because physiologically you will be making excuses for in the interview and this will lower your performance and then you won’t get the job and the excuse will become reality. So don’t ever give yourself an excuse to not get the job.
Take risks in your answers don’t play it safe
Obviously answer the question but don’t give safe answers, if you are unsure weather an example of yours fits the question say ‘this might not fit the question but…’ and say it, sometimes in life you have to just roll the dice. The interviewer will admire your bravery and the fact that you weren’t afraid to take a risk. Don’t do this on every question just a few. I assure you it will pay off.
Show courtesy to everyone during the interview
For most of use this is obvious but for some it isn’t. Say please and thank you, look them in the eye, smile just general courteous behaviour.
Don’t criticise other candidates with phrases like ‘I want the job the most’
This is actually quite common in interviews. Most people who do it don’t even realise they are doing it but it is not a good look. When you are down to saying you want it more than others you may as well leave there and then. You have to explain why you want it so much, show passionate you are and let them decide who wants it the most.
Speak properly and slowly
With the risk of sounding a little snobbish make sure you speak well. Use the queens English and try to minimise your accent if you have one. Pronounce your T’s and R’s and you will be fine. Sound bad? Yes in some ways it is as how you speak has little relevance to most jobs but it will make a big difference to your chances of getting the job.
Show extreme confidence the job belongs to you and you deserve it.
In my opinion confidence is the key to a job interview. It doesn’t matter if you have the qualifications or the passion or the skill if you aren’t confident in the interview you wont get the job. Your confidence will affect you manners and your speech. Some people get nervous if you are one then you must overcome this before an interview, nerves will not allow you to perform at your best.
Don’t lie, if they dig deeper you will quickly be found out (unless you’re a skilled compulsive liar) and then you will look very silly indeed!
Have examples ready
A lot of questions will require an example, for instance they may ask you when you have shown leadership qualities, so make sure you have a few examples in your head before the interview. Try not to learn any word for word though as it will be clear it’s staged. Just have a few examples ready from a variety of situations such as work, school and even your hobbies.
Was this useful information? Comment underneath and give me feedback. No one wants to go to job interviews but unless you have a startup idea or business project you will have to!
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