Interviews can be stressful, but preparation and practice can make them easier. The purpose of an interview is to show the employer your personality and potential. It also allows you to see if the job is what you expect. Here are a few things to think about before you go.
THINK ABOUT WHAT THE QUESTIONS WILL BE
Of course, you can’t guess what all of the questions will be. Each interview is different depending on the specific role and company. Think about the skills that your employer might be looking for, and be prepared to discuss them. Many people find it useful to practise out loud to gain confidence. To get you started, here are seven common questions you might get asked:
- Why do you want this role?
- Why do you want to leave your current company?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Tell me about a time you handled a tough situation.
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake
PREPARE YOUR ANSWERS USING THE STAR METHOD
It’s easy to claim that you’re a ‘good team player’, or that you ‘act well under pressure’, but you should prove it with examples.To help you do this, you can remember “STAR”:
Situation: Describe the situation you were in and why you were there
Task: Describe what your task or problem was
Action: Describe the actions you took to solve the problem, or complete the task
Results: Describe what happened in the end, and anything you learned from the situation
Short, clear answers are always better to help ‘sell yourself’. Interviewers want you to convince them that you are right for the job.
RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH
It is important to research your company. This will help you think about possible interview questions, and appropriate answers. Try to find out what the company’s goals are, and how you can help them achieve those goals. You can start by searching the internet, or finding company leaflets and articles. This will help you tailor your responses to what the employer is looking for. It is also useful to reread the job description to pick out any skills they may have listed.
Hopefully, you now know how to prepare yourself for the interview. Remember that not all interviews are the same, so think about how to tailor your research. Also remember that interviews are both about the employer finding out if you’re right for the job, and also if you think you would like to work there. Use this as an opportunity to find out more. Stay calm, and be positive – congratulations on making it this far!