You’ve been applying for work left, right and centre, and now you’ve been called in for an interview. Hoorah! But what happens afterwards will see you either celebrating success or leave you wondering, if anything, what you did wrong.
Although it seems like common sense, many candidates tend to make very basic mistakes when it comes to job interviews. We spoke to our Talent Solutions Consultants at HainesAttract about these common blunders and how to avoid them.
One of the first questions an interviewer is likely to ask is what you know about the company. Before going to the interview, do your research. This isn’t just a matter of looking at the ‘About Us’ page on their website. Take the time to learn about addition information such as the clients they work with, follow their social media pages, check out their organisational values. It’s a good idea to also do a quick Google to see if the industry or organisation has been in the news.
2) Understand the role
A common question an interviewer asks is your understanding of the role. You should be able to answer the purpose of the role and what you can bring to the job. Wrap your head around the job description and get familiar with it. This will show you’ve done your homework and earn you extra brownie points.
It’s helpful to prepare a few examples of questions you anticipate will be asked during the interview. Once you’ve got an understanding of the role, you’ll know what the key requirements are – and it’s common not to meet them all. Prepare examples of past experiences where you can and if you don’t meet the others then turn the spotlight back onto the knowledge, skills, and experience you do have. For example, you can begin by answering a question related to a requirement by saying ‘I don’t have experience in that, but I have used these skills in X, Y, and Z.’ Remember to talk in positives rather than negatives.
4) Practice makes perfect
Spend some time ahead of the interview preparing questions you think might be asked. Remember to look at the job requirements in the advertisement and job description. Ask a buddy to practice with you and prepare answers for common questions such as ‘Tell me about you’, ‘What are your greatest strengths/weaknesses?’ and ‘Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?’ Practice until you answer them confidently and without hesitation.
4) Ask questions
A question an interviewer will ask at the end is ‘Do you have any questions for us?’ This is a great opportunity to highlight what is important to you as an employee. Questions such as ‘What does a typical day involve?’, ‘What do you consider the biggest challenges in this role?’ and ‘How do you offer professional development opportunities?’ will show the interviewer you are interested enough to want to know more about the role.
5) Don’t be late
While it might seem obvious, the last and most important point is don’t be late! If you show up late or miss the interview, then your time applying and prepping for the interview would be for nothing. If something unexpected comes up, then get in touch with interviewer as soon as possible to reschedule.
Bonus question – What have you learned about yourself during the pandemic?
Your conversations with friends, family, and strangers over the next wee while will most likely touch on the pandemic. Job interviews won’t be any different. If an interviewer asks, use it as an opportunity to show how you handle stress; for example, setting up a daily routine or reaching out to loved ones. Or use it as an opportunity show off how you’ve been proactive; whether it be upskilling by taking online courses or learning how to make something new, it is all about showing development.