Adulting #3: Mastering Job Interviews

Posted: 19/05/2017 by mariesophieblog

Once you’ve successfully written loads of job applications and one of them got a positive response (well done you!) it’s time to prepare for the next step – the job interviews. Which is why today I’ve decided to write down a few of my tips regarding this topic. Now clearly every job interview is different but there are a few things that you can keep in mind in order to feel confident. So here goes:

Pre-Interview: Before you go into a job interview there are a few things you might want to consider. First, prepare yourself for the question ‘why do you want to work at out company’. This is where all that research you did comes in-handy, show them you know much about the company and try to link it with some of your own interests, the more you know the better. Second, make sure you bring multiple copies of your resume. You might not need it but in case the person you are interviewing with asks for it, you can hand it over – better be safe than sorry. And don’t be late! That goes without saying, I guess, but I always ask myself when I should leave in order to be on time.

First Impression: When it comes to job interviews (or life in general) people always say that the first impression is the one that stays and I think this is so true. So walk, talk, look interested, be confidnent, smile and maintain eye contact. Also think about the dress code. Dressing smart is a good choice but try to keep in mind what industry you are interviewing for. When you want to work in a bank, a shirt and trousers or a smart skirt is a safe bet. When you, let’s say, interview at a record label a little costume might be a bit too much. Same goes for your makeup. Try to see a job interview as a first date with someone you’ve never met before, you want to look your best without looking like you are trying too hard. So keep it casual and you will be fine. To all my bright lipstick lovers out there, you might want to leave your red lipstick in your purse and safe it for later.

One Minute Pitch: Prepare yourself for the question ‘tell me about yourself’ by planning out your focus and pointing out relevant skills that you have. The worst thing you want to do is say something like ‘well I’m open, friendly, hard working and enthusiastic. I’ve done this and that before and yeah, well that’s about it’. Try to convince them that you are the person you say you were in your application letter, but be real. Try to talk for about a minute, that’s long enough for you to explain who you are but not too long that the interviews things you are bragging.

Avoid Negative Statements: When you successfully get past this question, you know what’s coming next. ‘What would you say is one of your greater weaknesses’. This question is not supposed to make you look bad you trap you in any way, the interviewer just wants to know if there is anything he or she should keep in mind. Now avoid answering it by saying: I work too hard. That’s not really a weakness, is it? This way the interviewer will know that you are trying to avoid this answer and will probably get more suspicious. So instead you might want to try to answer the question without really answering it. You want to say something like ‘I’m sure that I’m not perfect but according to the job description, I feel like my skills and experiences are a close match. I don’t see any reason why I couldn’t get up to speed quickly’. That way you definitely answered the should I worry part without saying anything negative.

Your Skills: When talking about your skills focus on the ones that will benefit them immediately. Employers want to hear that you can get up to speed in no time and contribute to their company immediately. Also try to support your claim of being the best candidate by providing examples of situations that show how you can use these skills. Perseverance, for instance. Always a good skill to talk about, interviews love to hear about your ability to get things done.

Money: Last but not least, the salary question. Now don’t be shy when it comes to this question, it’s perfectly okay to ask how much you will earn but wait until the end or at least until you are half way through the interview. Otherwise you can give the impression that you are only doing it for the money, which should not be the first thing that comes to your mind when applying and/or interviewing for a job.

There we go these are all my tips regarding job interviews. I hope this post was helpful for some of you. Obviously besides all this strategic planning the main thing you want to take away from this post is: be yourself! Job interviews can be quite intimidating but try to be yourself. There is no point in playing a role because sooner or later people will know. And besides knowing you got the job because you were yourself is a way better feeling thank knowing they liked the role you played. Good luck! xo, Marie

2 Comments

  • Rainbow 20/05/2017 at 12:18 PM

    A few months ago, age 29 I had my first job interview. Before that I sort of rolled into my job through an internship. I was a bit nervous but had done well enough to get hired. Incredible feeling! I researched the company I applied for very well, but there were two interviewers from two cooperating companies. Without realizing when I described myself I turned out to be the perfect match for the other company that I knew nothing about 😉 I also asked them questions about their company to let them know I am ‘engaged’ with them. I had mentioned this on my application.
    It was a fun interview. But quite the nervewrecking experience.

    Reply
    • mariesophieblog 21/05/2017 at 3:19 PM

      That sounds amazing! Are you now working for the other company? 🙂 definitely asking questions about the company is also a good thing to do! xo, Marie

      Reply

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