Posted by: Lina | March 18, 2011

Oh no: Interview time!

Here is the thing: Everyone is nervous for interviews. Especially if they are interviews for jobs that you really want and sound amazing. I had a nerve-wracking one on Wednesday (for my first proper, adult job!) and then I got it, so I must be doing something right. Of course, there’s always room for improvement, but luckily I had decided to do my research before I went.

Disclaimer: Do not listen to the comic. This isn't good advice.

Here are my interview top tips, which are collected from random, scattered places across the internet:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the most common interview questions. “Tell us about yourself” is the most common. This question isn’t just about you listing facts about yourself, since part of an interview process is proving you are a good conversationalist. Remember that your interviewer isn’t just looking for another employee but someone that will fit into the company environment and that he or she will probably have to spend a lot of time with.
  2. Remember to be personable and friendly but find out which type of tone is set for the meeting. Some interviews can be quite informal with mostly chatting going on whereas others can be very formal, and there isn’t just one type of interview. You will need to prepare differently depending on the kind of interview you are having. If you have an invitation for an interview try to mentally prepare for that particular type.
  3. Always follow the rules. That is, always be polite, wear smart clothes unless you have been told specifically to do otherwise (better to be overdressed than underdressed), arrive on time, shake people’s hands, look into their eyes.
  4. Be prepared to speak about your experiences in a way that highlights your skills but it is something they can still relate and a story about you. Don’t just list facts about things you have done. For example, you’d be better off saying “In my last job I set up a computer network system to save everyone time after I -” than “I upgraded the network system at my old company.”
  5. This is a given but research the company before you go for an interview, even if it’s just a cursory look at their website (although you really should probably do more than that.) You don’t want to be interviewing at a water plant and answer that question with “uh… you make water here… right?”
  6. Shut up! Yes, I know, I get nervous too. But seriously, stop rambling. Always remember to let the interviewer speak.
  7. Make sure you are not one of these. Be genuine and honest about your expectations and ask any questions, no matter how stupid they seem in your head.

Have you got any interview tips you’d like to share?

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Responses

  1. These are great tips. We provide similar advice on our blog too. We’re just doing a series on preparing for interviews especially research.


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