How to ace your job interview

If you have perfected your CV and applied to every relevant job advert you can find, chances are you have some interviews coming up. If this is your first time at a job interview it can seem very daunting and you probably wonder how you are supposed to act and what you should talk about. Read on for tips on how to be great at interviews even if you are completely new to them.

Magnifying glass

Research is key

Make sure that you know everything you can about the company - this shows your interviewers that you are committed and have actually spent some time ensuring that you have a solid basis to your responses. Use Google or ask around and see if your family or friends have any experience with the company. This will mean that you will have a greater understanding of the context of some of the interview questions, and by knowing as much as you can about the employer you will be more prepared for the questions they might ask.

Suit

Get the professional look

More and more offices have adopted a more casual dress code - however this does not go for interviews. If you are unsure, always go for the more dressed up alternative. This is not as difficult as is sounds - just make sure that your clothes are whole and clean and not revealing. If you still feel uncomfortable, feel free to ask your contact at the company what the dress code on the day will be.

Clock by Aamer Javed

Don’t be late

Actually, try to be early. Nothing can ruin your chances as quickly as bursting through the entrance fifteen minutes after the time your interview was supposed to start. It shows a lack of organisation, maturity, and respect for the people that are devoting time to speaking to you. Another top tip is: if you are asked to wait in the lobby, either simply sit and look around or read a book or newspaper. This usually gives a better first impression than you mindlessly scrolling through Facebook on your phone.

4 by Jacob Botter

Take time to think

It is very common to be nervous during interviews, no matter how far into your career you are. Just make sure to breathe and take a few seconds to think whenever you are asked a question. Use this time to answer it in your head first and make sure you are happy with it before actually saying it out loud. This ensures that you do not accidentally ramble on or say something you do not mean to.

Grafitti by Duncan Hull

Question time

Odds are that your interview will ask with your prospective employer asking if you have any questions. Having one or a few looks a lot better than saying that you have all the information you need as it shows a keen interest in the company and some good old self-starting. Some things you could ask are:

●    What’s the atmosphere in the office like?
●    What management style do you prefer?
●    When should I expect to hear from you?

Many things come together to create a job offer - it does not matter how perfectly you answer the questions in the interview if you simply are not the right person for the job. Do not let that get you down, see it as free interview training instead. However, if you behave well in your interview and fit into the role they are looking for, you should have a great chance at a job offer.

Visit Milkround for more career advice along with hundreds of apprenticeships and school leaver schemes.

Images courtesy of Kit, Andreas Nilsson Guy, Aamer Javed, Jacob Botter, Duncan Hull & Scott Beale

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