Although I’m only 22, I have luckily had so many jobs & even more interviews! I’ve also chatted with hiring managers and graduates. I have compiled a (long) list based on these discussions and my own knowledge and experience. From what to wear, to how to act – this blog post will cover almost everything you need to ace that interview. Ranging from casual conversations and phone interviews, to super-duper stressful 3 hour group & panel interviews, I’ve experienced it all. I know exactly what it’s like to be in the hot seat for an interview, with nerves sky high! So here’s my advice….
Knowledge is Power!
Before any interview I highly recommend researching the company or brand. Try to find out everything, from how they started, to where they are now and their goals for the future. Look at their website, LinkedIn, all other social media sites and Google them. Read any relevant articles. If the job is Retail for example, try to explore anything that has changed buying habits e.g. e-commerce! Find and remember some statistics or offer an opinion on current trends. If you are lucky enough to know who the interviewer will be – research them too! Find something in common to use to your advantage.
SWOT was that?
That’s right. Do a SWOT analysis. Examine the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of the business or company. This knowledge can also come in handy right at the end of the interview. Any questions? You can wow them with your insight, and ask a question in relation to your SWOT analysis. This will impress them.
Relax & Make Them Laugh!
No matter how impressive your answers are, if they like YOU they will hire you! Easier said than done. I know, I’ve been there, but relax. Have fun and be yourself. Smile. Look on the bright side of every situation. So what if you don’t get the job, you’ll get another. My mantra is Trust the Universe – you may not realise now but there is a reason things happen!
Fake It Till You Make It!
You may be a nervous wreck but don’t let on. Practise walking confidently, head up, smiling and thinking positive thoughts. Believe in yourself! Have a firm handshake and maintain good eye contact.
Location Location Location!
Where’s the interview? Make sure you allow more than enough time to get to the interview. Arrive early and go to a nearby coffee shop or wherever to calm down and compose yourself. Go over your notes relating to the company and industry in general. Nothing is worse than feeling frazzled, or worse, late for an interview!
Dress to Impress!
These hiring managers are like most humans. Many will judge you the minute, the second you walk in. Sounds cliché but first impressions really do count, especially in this competitive workforce. So dress to impress and dress well. Regardless of your bank balance, wear clothes that fit you and make you feel fabulous! For me, this a tailored classic blazer – I feel I can conquer the world. Also, hands and feet are important. Beautifully manicured hands and good shoes are paramount IMO. Scruffy shoes & chipped nail varnish? It matters.
Sell Me This Pen!
No matter how prepared you are, some hiring managers want to test you under pressure. Once, I had 10 minutes to prepare a 5 minute presentation, then present it right there and then to everyone in the group interview. Don’t panic though. They want you to think on the spot and see how you cope with stress. Think in advance about your favourite subject or something you feel passionate about. Often in Sales or Retail jobs you’ll be asked to sell them something – so practise!
Feel free to ask any more questions or advice in the comments section!
Career Girl Xo