Some easy steps to getting it right on the day...
An interview offer means you are well on your way, but the toughest test is still to be faced. The key? Preparation, preparation, preparation!
Use the web, trade journals or the company's own literature to gather as much information as possible about the company.. Know where, when and who you are meeting and, if possible, how long they have been with the company plus where they came from.
These are crucial, so remember to smile, give a solid handshake, be confident, watch your body language and stay relaxed. And remember, it's better to look too smart than not smart enough.
It’s all about me!
Employers want to know about you and what you have done. Use 'I' not 'we' to describe your working experiences. Many interview questions are similar, so think about what you are likely be asked and then have your answers ready.
Always think before you answer a question and never be frightened of silence. You have every right to consider how you're going to respond to a question before you actually do respond. Never give a yes or no answer.
If you are using past projects to illustrate your skills and strengths, take along evidence, such as end products or visuals, finished documents or photos. Most people can talk a good game, so this is an opportunity to show what you really are capable of.
You've done the research, so use it! Clever questions based on solid research will show that you genuinely want the job. Remember, the interview should be a two-way conversation; it's your opportunity to find out about them, ask questions and be interested.
End with a really positive statement about how much you'd love this job and why you'd be perfect for it - but make sure it's sincere!
Some things to keep in mind when writing your résumé
Tailored and concise
RESUMES – SOME HELPFUL HINTS
- If you are not there in person, it means your résumé has to do your talking for you. Remember, it's not a full technical manual - it's a sales tool. So if that means rewriting your résumé for different job applications, do it. The reader needs to recognise immediately what you have to offer and how you are going to make a real and positive impact on their business. Your résumé needs to be clear and simple to understand. In particular, these are the points to focus on:
Responsibilities vs achievements
- Potential employers generally understand what you are / were employed to do. However, it’s also important to show what have you achieved in the role. Your potential employer needs to be convinced that you're going to add real value to their business.
Style and format
- First impressions are paramount. Rightly or wrongly, the reader can be adversely affected if the résumé isn't both clear to read and appealing to look at. Don't try and be clever - choose a simple typeface and size and keep it constant throughout. By all means highlight key headings, but don't overdo it.
- Apply the 'so what?' rule to everything you include, and consider the relevance of all the points you're listing.
Some tips to maintaining motivation whilst looking for that new opportunity
Surround yourself with positive people
- ideally those who have been in a similar place to you right now and have succeeded.
Focus on what you want from your new job:
Avoid spending time, energy and emotion focusing on what is wrong in your current situation. Instead focus on building a strong, vivid picture of the type of work and position you do want.
Don't get hung up on your age:
Companies hire people depending on experience, potential and personality. Aim to demonstrate your positive attributes and you'll succeed - regardless of the date on your birth certificate!
Arrange your schedule:
Devote time to job hunting and preparing for interview. You are seeking an exciting and profitable new opportunity and it is those with get-up-and-go who will get it first.
Enthusiasm is your best attribute:
It’s relatively easy for a company to fill any hard skills gaps with a training course, but enthusiasm cannot be 'given' to you. It comes from within. If you do not feel genuinely enthusiastic for a role, think again. If you do, display it - it will be one of the most attractive things about you during the selection and interview process.
Daily action towards your new career:
Even if it is something small (e.g. making a phone call), completing a task every day will maintain momentum and ensures that you are one step closer to success.
Keep yourself well:
Being out of work or changing jobs can be stressful, so ensure that you are in great condition to meet any challenges that face you. That means plenty of sleep, exercise, and healthy food - helping you not only feel great but giving you increased energy levels.
Be primed for an interview at a moment's notice. Create the psychological feeling that you are ready for this new job at any time. Ensure that your clothes and shoes are in tip-top condition and gain confidence from knowing that you are ready to go!