So I’m in that horrible transition limbo-like state between graduating and finding a job. Jobs and internships are scarce and so when you get an interview the last thing you want to do is mess it up. As an expert of this, I thought I would share my know-how of what not to do or say and then by doing the opposite perhaps we can uncover the secrets of landing the job. But first, some wise words from someone who sounds like they know how to handle an interview…Sound’s like being key as that is all you need to be able to do. It doesn’t matter if you’re a quivering wreck behind the phone or on the inside, put on a smile and sell yourself!
‘Paint a convincing word picture of yourself. To start remember the old saying: ‘No one really listens; we are all just waiting for our turn to speak.’ With this in mind, you shouldn’t expect to hold anyone’s attention for an extended period, so the picture you create needs to be brief yet thorough. Most of all it should be specifically vague – specific enough to arouse interest, to make the person you are talking to prick up his or her ears, yet vague enough to encourage questions, to make him or her pursue you.’
Although I don’t know how much I like the idea of being pursued in an interview, I agree that your confidence, poise and nerves will be tested and you need to have lots of tricks and amazing answers ready at the drop of a hat to make an impression and be remembered.
- Don’t be too rigid. Tell stories and give examples. If you’re going to list you’re favorable attributes, explain how you’ve actually used them in a situation or how they have benefited you. They’re just empty words otherwise that the employer hears far too often.
- The question most companies will ask is- the ‘Tell us about yourself’. Don’t just add superlatives to the empty words (see above). This is the time to forget you’re in an interview. If, like me, this question has been a realisation that you have no hobbies are are quite boring, don’t lie that you’re in the trampolining society, it is fine to say you enjoy socialising, you read, you use social media!
- If you feel like you cant answer the question or have a complete mind blank, mold it to suit you. I was recently asked, ‘What was the last thing you read?’ I was honest and started talking about what was trending on twitter. Remember there are no right or wrong answers.
- For most jobs you will need to have a good telephone manner. Be friendly but not too colloquial. Do NOT say like every other word and try and keep ums and ars to a minimum. Remember they are thinking that they may need you to give a presentation at work or phone their clients and this interview is what they are judging those skills on.
- No one is going to hire someone who they don’t think they can get on with. Be polite and always ASK QUESTIONS. If you don’t, how can you come across passionate? It sounds like you’re confident that you could see yourself in that job and need to know how things work.
- If you’re going for an internship, you don’t need to state everything you know in that field of work or how amazing you are. Be humble – they know you want to learn. Flatter them, say why you want to learn from that company, how it will benefit you. And most importantly, remember to say how much you would value and appreciate their teachings and how you would work to the best of your ability every day to make sure that that shows.
LETS PUT OUR MIDDLE FINGER UP TO UNEMPLOYMENT! x
Disclaimer: [there is no empirical evidence that these tips will be helpful, will work, or are even valid.]