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21 July 2015
For many people, the most nerve jangling part of the jobseeking process is the interview.
Even the most battle-hardened campaigner will admit to a small case of butterflies when going to an interview. After all, between applying for the job, perhaps writing a compelling letter about why you are the best person for it and sharpening your resume to a fine point, a lot of hard work has been done already.
When you make it to the interview stage, it’s like the grand final at the end of the season. And as most sportspeople or performers in general will tell you, a few nerves are good. They keep you on your toes (and to expand the analogy even further) they keep your head in the game.
And above all, they show that you are excited about the job, and that it’s something you really want. Potential employers want to see some enthusiasm and desire – they want to know that getting this job is important to you.
They also want to make sure that the person sitting in front of them is the real you – not you pretending to be something you are not in order to get the job over the line. So always be yourself, because if you don’t, and you get the job, it probably won’t work out in the long term.
Now before you even get to the interview, it’s vital that you do your homework about the company and the person you will be working for. So go online, visit the company website and find out everything you can about it, and its employees, clients and culture. Maybe visit sites like LinkedIn and find out as much as you can about the person who will be interviewing you. And talk to people – if you happen to know someone who works there already, or has worked there before – they are always your best bet. A bit of inside information will go a long way.
Once you have gathered as much intelligence as you can to arm yourself for the interview, the next thing you need to do is rehearse. Try to anticipate what questions you might be asked and make sure that when they come, you are not answering them for the first time.
Above all, they show that you are excited about the job, and that it’s something you really want. Potential employers want to see some enthusiasm and desire.
So grab your best friend, or your mum, or your neighbour or better still, someone you know who interviews people themselves and practice, practice, practice. That way, when you walk in to that interview you will have the best idea possible about what you will be asked, and how you will answer.
And never forget – an interview should be a two way conversation, not an interrogation. It shouldn’t just be the employer interviewing you, it should be you interviewing them. Don’t be afraid to ask sensible and pertinent questions, because most good employers will expect you to have a few questions for them anyway. (Actually, they would probably view it as a negative if you didn’t.)
So, as you prepare to tackle your next interview, remember:
- It’s OK to be nervous
- Research and preparation
- Don’t be afraid to be yourself