Are you trying to get a job, but have no idea how to handle an interview? Job interviews can be pretty nerve-racking, especially if you haven’t had much experience. Get better prepared with these tips below.
This can help if:
- you’re looking for a job
- you’re nervous about job interviews
- you’ve never had a job interview before.
1. Dress to impress
What you wear to a job interview makes a strong first impression – good or bad! Don’t panic, you don’t need to buy a suit if you’re after a job at the local supermarket. Just make sure you have an outfit that is neat, simple and conservative. Avoid see-through clothes, jeans with rips, hoodies, exercise clothes, thongs and sneakers. Neatly tie back long hair and make sure that you and your clothes are clean.
2. Be punctual
Arriving late to an interview implies that you’ll arrive late to work, so it’s important to get there on time. Look up on Google Maps beforehand where your interview is, and plan how you’ll get there. Aim to arrive 15 minutes early, and then actually tell the receptionist you’re there five minutes before your scheduled appointment.
Just a FYI, there is such a thing as being too early! You don’t want to be the person that shows up 45 minutes before your interview. The person interviewing you has set aside time in their schedule to meet with you, and you don’t want them to feel pressured because you showed up so early!
3. Know your questions (and answers!)
Prepare to answer questions about yourself, your work experience and what you’re good at. Be sure to refer to your skills and experience at previous job or volunteer work. Is this your first job? No problem, talk about your studies at school, or any informal work (e.g. babysitting or tutoring classmates) instead.
You might be asked to identify some of your weaknesses. To answer this question, mention something small that you aren’t great at, and explain how you are improving in this area. For example, you might tell them you’re not very good at spelling, but that you always check your work carefully for errors. There’s no need to mention your weaknesses unless you’re asked about them.
4. Be confident, keep cool
If you’re not feeling confident, try to fake it! Shake your interviewer’s hand, smile and make eye contact. The way you present yourself shows that you’ll feel comfortable talking to future co-workers and customers. Remember not to talk too fast. It’s normal to do when you’re nervous, but try to talk at the same speed you would to a family member or friend. If your interviewer offers you a glass of water, take it! If you’re feeling nervous your mouth can get dry, and having a glass of water helps you stop and compose yourself if you need to gather your thoughts.
5. Practice, practice, practice
The best way to feel relaxed and confident is to practice answering questions and talking about yourself. Try to rope in a family member or friend to help you out and pretend they’re the interviewer.
Practice is good but don’t overdo it! Try to take your mind off of the interview the night before, to give yourself a break and allow yourself to relax. Perhaps you can go out to dinner with a friend, or watch a movie and hit the sack early.