Yesterday I had an interview for a part-time position in the Students’ Union! I don’t think it went too badly. I’ll find out next week how well I’ve done. It was actually the first proper individual interview I’ve ever had, because in the past I’ve mostly done group interviews and stuff. So I was a little nervous! But, despite that, it could’ve gone a lot worse. So I figure for this week’s blog post I’m going to run through what I think you should do to nail that interview.
- Wear the right clothes. You want your interviewer to know that you’ve made an effort to look smart. Even if the job doesn’t require you to dress smartly, interviews are normally a formal affair (unless said otherwise).
- Do your research on the company and job position you’re applying for. I was actually asked in my interview about what the department does, and I was able to answer fairly well because I’d done my research. If you can prove that you know the company then it proves that you care about it and genuinely want to work for them.
- Arrive on time. First impressions are so important, so try and arrive five minutes early. It’ll prove that you’re organised and are a good time-keeper!
- Be nice. This is an obvious one I guess, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Smiling and saying your “pleases” and “thank yous” really go a long way.
- Have a good idea of your strengths and weaknesses. The interviewer is most likely going to ask you what your strengths and weaknesses are, so have them lined up ready. Try and apply your strengths to the position you’re applying for. And if you’re asked to mention a weakness, try and come up with one that’s nothing too serious. Try and turn it into a positive, or reassure the interviewer that it’s something you’re working to overcome.
- Think carefully about what you’re going to say in response to the questions. Don’t be afraid to hesitate and think about your answers before you say them. Most likely your interviewer will be expecting you to do this. It’s better to think for a while and come up with a good answer, rather than respond immediately with something not very good or well thought out.
- Think about what the interview questions really mean/what the interviewers are really trying to find out. For instance, I was asked what I thought made a good team. What the interviewer really wants to know is whether I work well in a team or not.
I may have missed some other points, but I think these a good starting point to nailing that interview!