Well done! You’ve got an interview! Now its prep time…
Its important that you give yourself some time to prepare and reflect on how you can present yourself at an interview. Below are tips and hints for you to read through on how you can start to think about the interview, and some things you can do at interview time. And as always, the Careers team are here to talk through these preparations and practice with you!
1. Go Prepared
Know yourself – your strengths, weaknesses and accomplishments.
- Possible strengths – Are you a fast learner? Can you work effectively on your own? Do you learn best by doing? Do you like to get feedback on progress?
- Possible weaknesses – do you have limited experience of the job you are applying for? Are you a little ‘shy’ of asking for assistance, support?
- Weaknesses can be countered if you know them – i.e. “I may not have ‘x’ months experience but I’m a fast learner / pick up tasks easily / ok about asking for assistance” or “I’m not naturally comfortable in seeking feedback but we could schedule regular reviews of progress where I cover over what I’ve completed to ensure it meets your standards”
2. Appear Friendly and Outgoing
Smile and say hello to everyone – everyone. A positive interaction with support and admin staff is can be important.
- Keep your phone in your pocket the whole time – even while waiting
- Shake hands with interviewers if possible, repeating their name in your head – use names if you can e.g. “Thanks for this opportunity ‘James’, I’m really excited to be here today”.
3. Be Self-Confident
High self-esteem and self-confidence can be perceived as the hallmarks of the successful individual. It is natural for everyone to feel nervous and uncertain going into an interview, creating an appearance of self-confidence will help you feel more confident. There’s nothing wrong with feeling good about yourself – it helps others to feel confident in you too.
This is also why knowing your strengths and weaknesses are important – it gives you confidence to know how you can benefit an employer and you are also able to demonstrate how you can or have overcome obstacles.
4. Come Prepared for Key Questions
Practice your responses to all the typical questions, such as “tell me about yourself” and “why are you looking for this position?” How well you speak will have a bigger impact than what you say. The Seek Careers team recently published a great online tool to help you answer ‘The 10 Most Asked Interview Questions’ – give it a go!
5. Do you have any questions?
It’s important that you show you are keen to learn, that you are committed to the role and being part of a team. Spending time together at breaks and lunch, team training can all be an important part of showing you can fit into the new workplace. You could ask the following questions about the wider team:
- Are there regular team meetings or debriefings?
- Are their opportunities for team development or training?
- Do you socialise as a team/group?
6. Remain Involved
The most effective job interviews are those where an active two-way conversation takes place. Rather than the typical ‘they ask a question and you answer’ type. Begin early in the interview to interject your own relevant insight but remember, don’t interrupt your interviewer. You could ask the interviewer:
- What got you into this role/trade – do you share same motivation, if you do, say so.
- What do you look for in apprentices? – listen to what they are looking for and talk about how you meet that criteria.
- Ask about their preferred work projects – helps you to know what the future role would look like.
- What hours do they prefer to work too – do they start early/finish early, start early and keep going – helps you to know what expectations are and how you can meet them.
We realise that this is a lot of information to take in, and probably raises more questions, and potentially makes you more nervous than before! We are here to help – we can talk through these questions, help you answer them, help you with choosing your between you fashion options on the day even if that’s something you need! Either pop into Room 32A or email us to make a time.
- Mr Smith – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Catherine – email@example.com