Landed an early career interview? Well done! You must be competitive on paper so now it’s about being competitive in person. There are so many tips and guides with sound advice, but what really works? Our top 5 tips for interview preparation will help you ace your interview and get selected.
1. Get even more prepared.
Preparing for the interview is about becoming educated about the role, employer and sector in detail, in advance and better than the other candidates. Leave no stone unturned to beat the competition. The successful candidate will have done their homework and can impress at interview with their preparation. An interview will quiz your skills and qualities so be ready for questions and tasks with great examples that you have practiced. Prepare the best, and you’ll stand out as the best.
- Learn about the company, what do they do and what’s in their news
- Learn about the role and what’s really involved
- Have relevant examples of your knowledge and experience ready to go
- Prepare some great questions
2. Dress comfortably and smartly
Take advice from other people on your look before storming into the interview as a fashion statement! Do your homework. How you dress will depend on the sector and cultural norms in that business. The key is to mix comfort with smartness – allowing you to feel confident and comfortable simultaneously. You’ll be ready to be the best version of yourself and give it your best shot.
3. Make a great first impression, be yourself and try to enjoy it!
The interview starts at the front door and in those first few seconds of small talk online. First impressions count. Be yourself as much as possible, that’s what they want to see and hear. Imagine visiting an elderly relative, be polite, enthusiastic, enjoy yourself and bring some energy; if you enjoy yourself the interviewer will also enjoy the interview, and you are in with the chance.
4. Ask a great question and tell them that you really want the job
Don’t settle for asking a few simple questions at the end just for the sake of it. Ask a great question. The best questions will help you find out if there was any weakness in your interview. This gives you a final chance to respond differently or give more competitive examples. Could any of my responses have been more competitive? Which aspects of the role do you think might be the most challenging for me? These questions give you a final chance to improve your score. All done? Find a genuine way to say thank you and tell them that you really want the job.
5. Follow up
Following up to say thank you and provide some extra info can keep your name at the top of the list. Any response will give you peace of mind that they will be in touch. However, whether you get a response or not, once is enough. You don’t want to come across as desperate or needy.
If you don’t get the job, don’t worry; it is all part of the process, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, learn what you can and move on to the next one.
Aaron Vaughan is Early Careers Manager at EarlyCareers.scot