Tips before the job interview
Time for an interview? Congratulations! The interview is the employer’s chance to see if you are suitable for the job. And your chance to see if the job suits you. Here are some tips on what to think about before, during and after the interview.
How to prepare yourself for the interview
If you are well prepared for your job interview, you have a better chance of making a good impression.
- How will the interview be done? You can always ring and ask. For example, will one or more people be interviewing you? Whereabouts will you be? How much time do you have?
- Practise questions and answers at home. Think about what questions you think might come up and what you should answer to give the best possible impression of yourself. Perhaps you could ask a friend to interview you? It could be good to prepare for questions about how you will present yourself, what role you have in a group and how you handle conflicts. Naturally, you should also have an answer to why the employer should choose to employ you.
- Examples that show your skills. Think about some concrete situations that demonstrate your skills. If you have no work experience, it is just as useful to give an example from your studies or leisure time.
- Read about the employer. Then they will understand that you are interested in them. Prepare some questions about the employer and the job.
- Take along copies of your CV and personal letter. It is good to have them in front of you during the interview and to hand out if anyone does not have a copy. The same applies to work samples and references – ensure you have them to hand so you can take them out during the interview.
Things to think about during the interview
It is common for the employer to start by talking about the company or asking you what you know about them. Then you usually have a chance to talk about yourself and why you have applied for the job and then answer the employer’s questions. Here are some things to think about:
- Nervous? Then you can talk about it. This shows that you are honest. It’s a good idea to take a breath and think before answering questions. And remember that the more interviews you go to, the more secure and confident you will be.
- Everyone in the room is equally important. If several people are interviewing you, remember that everyone is equally important. Direct your answers to everyone, regardless of who asked the question.
- Think about your body language. Make sure you listen attentively and remember to make eye contact! And don’t forget to breathe.
- Did you cover everything? Look at your notepad where you have written what you want to bring up and check you have said what you planned to say. If there are any questions you think you have not covered, make sure you bring them up now. Also, ask about the next step in the process to know when you will have an answer.
How you follow up on the interview
It is important to follow up on the interview afterwards. Then you can make use of your experience and do even better at your next interview.
- Reflect on how you think the interview went and note down your thoughts. Think about the questions you were asked and the questions you asked yourself. Were there any questions you were uncertain about? Think about how to answer the next time.
- If you are completely satisfied with how things went, what is it that makes you feel this way? Could you recreate it next time?
- If you don’t hear back from the employer by the agreed time, you can phone and ask how the recruitment process is going. It is not unusual for things to take time, but it is good for you to be aware of this.
- Didn’t get the job? Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback so you know why you missed out this time. Hopefully, you can get a rough outline of the reasons and do something about them before the next interview.
Some practical tips before the interview
- Plan what you are going to wear. Wear clothing that you are comfortable in and that will make a good impression.
- Take a pen and notepad. Write down the questions you have and any things that you especially want to remember to say to the employer.
- Check the map and plan your journey so you know how to get there. Also, take the employer’s contact details in case you need to reach the person you are to meet.
- Arrive on time and turn off your mobile phone before the interview begins.