If you’re like most people, you probably have a bit of a love-hate relationship with job interviews. On the one side, you’re happy because the fact that you even have an interview has boosted your chances of getting a job that you hopefully really want.
On the other side, you actually have to get through the interview without messing up. A process that can reduce even the most macho guy to a nervous wreck full of self-doubt and insecurities during which you’re subjected to sitting across from one or more strangers whose sole purpose in life is to critique your every move – at least that’s how it seems in the moment.
When it comes to interviews, like everything else, if you prepare ahead of time and stay focused on what you’re hoping to achieve, then it really doesn’t have to be so scary. To help you eliminate as much of the pre-interview jitters as possible, we’ve listed some of our top tips for successfully preparing for your interview and hopefully, you’ll land that dream career.
- Do your homework: One of the first things your potential employer will want to know is what you’ve learned, not only about the role for which you’re applying but also the company itself. You may or may not be surprised to learn that a shockingly high percentage of people attend interviews and know next to nothing about the company. In this day and age there’s really no excuse for this since we have information quite literally at our fingertips, so get yourself on Google and learn as much as you can about them if you want to impress;
- Look the part: Whilst no reasonable employer would expect people to show up kitted out in tuxedos or tweed suits, this is also not an event where you should be dressing for comfort in your favorite sneakers or to make a statement. Depending on the role, and even the company culture, you should be able to judge the level of formality required, but you’ll typically not go wrong with a smart-casual suit in a neutral shade. If you want to inject some color, you can go for a dark or bold tie or shirt without overdoing it;
- Be honest: Although it should go without saying, lying or exaggerating the truth when applying for a job is a big no-no, and it’s just not worth the risk. Not only should you be applying for a job that genuinely meets your level of capability, education and experience, but you should also be honest when asked about things like your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t position yourself as a know-it-all, but equally don’t downplay your strengths to try and come off as modest;
- Update your education: If you’ve been out of the workforce for a while, then you may have to consider if your existing skills and qualifications could do with a bit of a refresh. This is not to say that you have to start over again, but if getting an MBA from James Cook University could help you land a more senior position then it’s worth looking into – especially as many of these courses can actually be done online and part-time to work around your other commitments.
- Be yourself: Yes, it can be difficult to relax in this situation, but the people on the other side of the desk are just that – people. They want to see the real you, so make eye contact, smile, ask genuine questions and inject some of your personality into the conversation;
- Speak properly: This doesn’t mean you should start speaking as you’ve just swallowed a thesaurus, but it simply means speak in a professional, respectful way without using slang – we’re going to venture a guess that your future boss probably won’t appreciate that too much.
So, there you have it. These are just very simple things to keep in mind when applying for your dream job, that when implemented, can be highly effective.
Whilst you certainly don’t need to use every tip in this list, and will probably find that not all of them will apply to you, this should hopefully give you a good starting point so you can work out the best strategy for you when it comes time to start searching for your dream job so that you can be as prepared as possible and have the highest chances of success. Getting your dream job is probably not as difficult as you think, but as with many things, a good bit of planning can really go a long way to helping you succeed.