I thought that seeing as I often get people asking for advice on various subjects, I’d maybe do a ‘series’ of advice on here to share with anyone else who maybe needs some help with the same topics 🙂 if there is anything you would like to see me write about in this series then please feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org I will keep your identity anonymous for your privacy too.
So for this first one, I thought I’d give some advice on interviews, seeing as it’s getting to that time of year when 16 year olds are completing their GCSE exams and will either be going to college or applying for jobs…maybe even both! I’m not claiming to be an expert, this is just my personal opinion and advice on what I do/have done in interviews in the past that have always helped me as even when I haven’t got the job I’ve always been complimented on how well my interview went.
Do not go into an interview looking like you’re about to go clubbing, or I’m just your day to day clothes. For certain places of work, you will need to dress extremely smart for the interview to show that you can be well presented so I’m talking suits, tie, etc. For an interview for a more relaxed workplace like a retail job for example, I personally still dress smart- I either wear a pair of black suit trousers or a black pencil skirt that is either just below or just above my knees, black kitten heeled polished shoes, a plain button up shirt and either my casual black pin striped blazer or a plain cardigan. For makeup I never go over board I try to stick to the more natural look with just my usual foundation and mascara- so no thick eyeliner or crazy eye shadow!
For me personally, being heavily tattooed I usually cover them up for interviews with my clothing, purely because some people can judge you straight away on tattoos and not want to give you a chance. If they mention about tattoos and piercings in their workplace, then I will tell them that I am will to remove jewellery and not have tattoos on show where possible.
Do your research and prepare
There’s always one question that is asked in every interview, and that is “Why do you want to work for us?” Or “why should I hire you”. Now the answer to this is usually because you need a job and need the money, however that doesn’t come across as a great answer. You can mention that you need a job in order to provide for your family or lifestyle etc, but always mention why the job interested you- for example; applying for a job as a carer, it’s a good idea to mention how you’re passionate about helping others, maybe even give an example of how you’ve helped someone in the past such as helping your elderly relative do their shopping etc. You’re more likely to get hired if you show an interest in the company and what they do, so try and find out about them like what they sell, how successful the business is etc.
Greeting and posture
Always be polite. Don’t go into an interview chewing gum with your earphones in and greeting the employer with “alright mate”. When you are called in for your interview and greeted by the potential employer, make sure you smile and make eye contact. Often but not always, they will hold their hand out to shake yours as a greeting- when shaking their hand you want to be firm but not finger breaking or overly shakey! Always wait for the employer to sit down first before you do, or for them to say “take a seat” to which you reply with thank you. When sitting an interview, don’t slouch as if you’re at home on the sofa, you need to look confident and well presented so try to sit up straight and not be closed with body language (sitting with arms folded). Upon leaving the interview, always say thank you.
Know your CV
Now obviously on your CV you need to be honest, so it should be easy to remember what you’ve included. However, if you’ve had your CV for a while and maybe haven’t read through it your interviewer could ask you something in regards to your CV to check you’ve been honest and if you can’t remember what’s on it then it will come across as a lie on the cv, so always keep your CV up to date and make sure you read through it to familiourise yourself with it.
Don’t talk too fast
Sometimes nerves can over take us and cause us to speak really quickly to get it over with or do the opposite and be full of ‘err’ and ‘umm’. Now a decent employer will know that interviews can be daunting, and will accept the fact you may well be nervous, however if you can keep your cool then it shows you can deal with situations while under pressure. If it helps, try doing a mock up interview with someone before your actual interview to get you used to speaking to people in a professional way. Just remember to take a deep breath before going in, and if you are really nervous then tell them; when you walk in and greet each other say something like “I’m sorry I’m a little nervous”, and as I said, a decent employer will understand that and not judge or scrutinise you for it.
I know from experience that when you’re job hunting you apply for so many all at once in the hope that someone will call you for an interview and employ you. Keep a list of who you have handed your cv to, for what position and when. I know that I’ve had a call back before and thought “who on earth are you I don’t remember applying for that” because unfortunately not all companies get back to you straight away.
Don’t get down over rejection
You won’t get every job you apply for, and you won’t be the right person for every job you apply for. If you aren’t successful then just move on from it there is no point in getting down about it and allowing it to effect your performance in future interviews. Some companies will contact you to basically say thanks but no thanks, and sometime you can even ask them what the reasoning is for them not wishing to employ you so that you can work on any weaknesses in your interview performance. Unfortunately some companies will simply not contact you at all which I think is out of order to keep people hanging wondering whether or not they were successful- I’d say if they haven’t given you a time frame like “we’ve got another week of interviews so we’ll decide then”, then contact them a week later and enquire as to whether or not you’ve been successful. If they did give a time frame then allow a week after that set time before contacting them.
I hope that this has been helpful even in the slightest way, as I said I’m not an expert this is just advice from personal experience.
🔹immeamy, you’re you, and that’s the best way to be🔹