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Lifestyle,  Single Mum's Life

How To Be Successful At Job Interviews?

How to be Successful at Job interviews? Recently, I went to a career event where I was provided with advice on how to be successful at job Interviews. Mind you this is just a guide for a successful interview. However, I found them so helpful and I felt I should share with you guys.

What is an interview?

An Interview is a conversation between you and an employer. It is your chance to show an employer what you can do for the company and why they should hire you.

What to Expect at an interview?

  • There are usually 2 -3 people on the interview panel
  • They take about 30 – 45 minutes
  • Typical Interviews structure includes – Introductions, Job Information, Interview Questions, Your Questions and finally Wrap up
  • If you are nervous, remember the interviewers will probably be nervous too!

How To Be Prepared For An Interviews?

  • Find out all you can about the job and the company. Read the job information and have a look at the company website, or talk to someone who works there. This shows you’re interested in working there.
  • Have some answers prepared in advance. There are a few commonly used interview questions, for example, Tell me about yourself/current job, what are your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Take a copy of your application/CV, it isn’t an exam, you don’t have to have it memorised
  • Aim to arrive 10 minutes early (early is always better than late)

What To Wear To An Interviews?

  • Dress smartly. Aim for a slightly smarter version of what people who work there wear
  • Iron clothes, clean and polish shoes
  • Keep make and jewellery simple – less is more
  • Be professional
  • Lay clothes out the night before and make sure they fit

Answering Interview Questions

Be an interview STAR and use the STAR technique to tell the interviewer about tasks or projects you have been involved in

  • S – What was the situation?
  • T – What was the task?
  • A – What action did you take?
  • R – What was the overall result?

Work examples are great, but if you haven’t had a job, use experiences from school, hobbies, work experience or unpaid work.

Some Extra Interview Tips

  • Keep to the point – put across what you want to say, but don’t waffle
  • Tell the interview panel what YOU did, not what we did
  • Stick to the truth and talk about things you have done – it’s hard to remember a lie
  • Ask for questions to be repeated or rephrased if you need to
  • Silence is normal – if you’ve said all you want to say for a particular question, don’t keep talking to fill a silence

Leave An Interview With An Impression

  • Ask Questions if you want, for example, what development opportunities are here, tell me about the team I would be working with, what projects/tasks are coming up in the near future
  • Shake hands and always thank the interviewers for their time
  • Ask when you will hear the outcome

What If You Don’t Get The Job?

  • Do not be dishearted, everyone gets knocked back
  • Ask for feedback on how your interview went and what you can do to improve next time
  • Write down the questions you were asked after you leave and use these to prepare answers for your next interview – you will probably be asked similar questions
  • Learn from the experience and you’ll improve next time around

I hope you find this helpful as much as I did and good luck with your interview!

35 Comments

  • Thuy

    When I went on interviews when I was younger, they made me so anxious. I was always taught to be humble and bragging about what I had done and achievements made me feel so uncomfortable. But after enough interviews and some rejections you develop a tougher skin and it helps to see it as yourself interviewing the company too to see if it’s a good fit

  • Charmaine Daisley

    These interview tips are on target. Being on time is one of the most critical things potential employers look out for. Using the STAR technique is also great information job seekers can use to show their strengths. I laughed when you shared that the interviewers can be nervous, too :). Excellent post!

  • Kaye

    Great advice. Something I learned awhile back from an interview course I took was that sparkly jewelry was a “no-no”…not sure why though! I guess, like you said, keep it simple!

  • Heather

    I’m going to pass this info onto my daughter, who will be applying for jobs for the first time next month! It’s so important to know what you’re doing before you step in the door.

  • nirjon rahman

    I waited an hour and 15 minutes past the time I should have been interviewed for a job then I left thinking why would I work for a place that can’t even see me on time. How long would you have waited if it was the only interview you had?

  • Alexandra

    Wow, this is pretty thorough and has a lot of points I wouldn’t have even thought of. Like to be comfortable with silence and just say what you want to say. I probably would have tried to go on and on if they didn’t say anything and mess things up. Plus, I NEVER think of the interviewer as being nervous!

  • Lindsay Brown

    Great article! Interviews are always so nerve wracking but with great tips like this it can ease the anxiety that comes along with interviewing for a job. I like the STAR technique. This is a great way to remember to stay on topic and focused when getting asked situational questions.

  • Terri Beavers

    Your post is definitely going to help those who are looking to be successful during their interviews. I can still remember my first interview. I thought it was a disaster. But somehow I got the job.

  • Rosey

    Making sure clothes fit is a good one. You assume they do, but I just put on my outfit for my big meeting (I almost didn’t, I never do that) and I gained weight over the summer so it feels too tight!

  • Erica (The Prepping Wife)

    I love these tips! I’ve always been extremely nervous in job interviews. I’m terrible with public speaking, and I feel like interviews are kind of along the same lines. Not necessarily a conversation. But that is a great way to think about it. I’m just going to meet new people and have a conversation. It is so easy to get worked up over an interview, so this post is very helpful. I’ve been reading about a few people I follow on Twitter going for interviews lately, and I’ll be sharing this post with them to help relax them and boost their confidence!

  • Quin Cl

    I didn’t know this point ”if you are nervous, remember the interviewers will probably be nervous too!” But I already noticed during my job interviews once or twice that the interviewers were quite restless and I thought to myself ”what’s happening, I am the interviewee or the applicant here and not the other way round.” Anyway, I’ve been in many job interviews in 3 years and that experience doesn’t even console me to be always prepared before the interview.

  • Sarah Emery

    I LOVE the Star technique! Great tips! I was once told, the best way to talk about yourself during an interview is to talk the same way you would talk about your best friend 🙂 Great post!

  • Elizabeth | Tired Mom Supermom

    These are great tips. Job interviews get me super nervous! I always study interview tips before I have to face one myself. Thank you for this

  • Nicole Anderson | Camping for Women

    This is a really good guide to assisting interviewees to prepare as it is simple and easy to follow. Good or experienced interviewers are usually well practised at putting candidates at ease, which in turn makes the discussion flow more naturally. A relaxed atmosphere is always best for both parties to have the best interaction and exchange of information.

  • Despite Pain

    When I was younger, I had no idea how to get through an interview and simply got myself worked up. Having a set process like this will really help people. I love the STAR technique.

  • Karen

    These are really great tips! I used to interview people regularly (when I worked in the finance world), and it was unbelievable how many people came in unprepared, under dressed, and gave 1-2 word answers. I’ll be sharing this so others can improve their interviewing skills!

  • Tracy C

    I’ve never heard of the STAR technique, but I love it. This is my 23rd year at the same place, so I haven’t interviewed for a long time. Your advice is very helpful to anyone looking for a new position.

  • Scott J DeNicola

    As someone who has gone through quite a few interviews in my life and now am the interviewer, these points are dead on. Definitely learn what you can about the company and have questions. I won’t even consider someone if they haven’t at least learned what we do. I don’t expect them to know everything but a general idea is nice to show initiative. Love the STAR technique as well. I would also send a thank you note to further enforce interest.

  • Jen @ Jenron Designs

    I have been on both sides of this coin. When I was young the one attending the interview now as an employer I administer them. These are all very good points and we certainly help any new candidate in the process, another good tip is to be comfortable with yourself and certain amount of confidence is a good thing, but being over confident is not.

  • Ya

    Interviews always gave me jitters. I have been out of the interview phase for a while, SAHM. But when I go back I plan to use the tips you gave. Thanks

  • Sydney

    I’ve never heard of the STAR method I definitely want to learn more about that. I learned how to interview through pageants! It’s such a great way to practice.

  • lia

    I love the STAR method. I always heard the KISS method: keep it simple stupid! LOL but I am not sure if I am saying it correctly. Anyways, love this post and love interviews in general! they always give me an adrenaline rush and makes me feel confident!

  • Patti

    My husband does a lot of resume and interviewing workshops and one thing he suggests is going to interviews even when you don’t really want the job so you get experience interviewing. He also does lots of mock interviews to get people thinking about questions and how to answer them.

  • Fiorella

    These tips come in the perfect moment. I have already been to a job interview, but I have to admit that I was very nervous. I will follow these tips and let’s see what happen in the next interview 🙂

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