By Zoe Taylor
We’ve given you tips on resume and cover letter writing, as well as how to dress for success in order to impress potential employers. But what about what happens when your resume is accepted and you’re called in for an interview?
There’s no denying that interviews are nerve racking, But they don’t have to be. With the right preparation you can impress the employer and ace your interview!
TAKE A COPY OF YOUR RESUME AND COVER LETTER
Even though the employer has already read these, it’s a good idea to have them on you just in case they want to refer to it and haven’t printed a copy for themselves, or if you need to refer to it yourself. This demonstrates initiative.
TAKE WRITTEN REFERENCES
It’s a good idea to take references from previous work colleagues, employers or teachers along to the interview, don’t send them with your cover letter and resume. At the end of the interview, if they haven’t already asked you for them, ask if they would like copies. Written references are a great way to backup your suitability for the role. It also saves the employer time, as they can read what the references would end up saying to them on the phone if they were to call them.
KNOW THE COMPANY
Find out as much as you can about the company before you attend the interview, because the inevitable ‘what do you know about our company?’ question will most likely be asked. If you can’t answer the question or you state the obvious, it comes across like you don’t care enough about the company, let alone acquiring the position. Know little interesting tidbits that they wouldn’t expect you to tell them.
Part of the impression you make on your potential employer is in the outfit you wear. If you’re dressed professionally, you’re already earning brownie points the moment you walk in the door. It shows that you put effort into looking professional, and suggests you’re going to put effort into the role. For more information, check out our ‘Dress for Success’ infographic here.
Where appropriate, asks questions about the role and the company (in relation to the information you already have on the company). This tells the employer that you are truly interested in the role and business, and portrays intelligence also.
Practise an interview a couple of times so that you know what you’re going to say if any of the most likely questions are asked. The following questions are common in job interviews – using these, you can prepare for your interview by practising them on your own or with a friend or family member
- Tell me about yourself.
- What do you know about our company?
- Why do you want to work for us?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses? (Know 3 of each. Ensure you know of ways you can/are working on your weaknesses to show that you are proactive)
- Tell me a bit about your work history and experience (they may pick a particular job on your resume and ask about that)
- Tell me about a situation in which you had to use problem solving skills. (Outline the situation, describe the action you took and explain the result of this action)
- Give me an example of a situation in which you used your initiative.
- What is your most significant accomplishment?
- Why are you suitable for this position?
- How do you handle pressure?
- Do you have any questions for me?
- How have you grown or changed in the past few years?
- Do you work well with deadlines?
- Why should we hire you? What contributions would you make to the company?
- I see you studied (course you studied). What skills and knowledge did you acquire whilst studying that course that will help you thrive in this role?
- What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
For help in finding the right career path for you, or for useful tips on areas including studying and finding success, call 1800 143 080 or visit www2.collegesonline.com.au/mycareer to contact one of our friendly career advisors!