No job is perfect, not the one you have and not the one you want, but you still want to put yourself in a better position career-wise, you are just petrified at the thought of being interviewed for a new position. Many people have trouble with the interview process, whether becoming frustrated with the line of questions, or not being able to answer questions the way they want to. However, there are things you can do to ensure that your next interview experience begins and ends on a positive note.
Just because you may interview poorly doesn’t mean that you cannot change your actions and improve how you present yourself during an interview. If you are not chosen for the job, it doesn’t mean you’re not qualified, it may just mean that you need to improve you interviewing skills. If you are weak in certain areas, then try to improve those areas. If you put your mind to it, you can improve those areas and become a better interviewee.
There is a job out there for you. All you have to do is keep trying and keep believing in yourself. How do you go about nailing that job interview though? What are some tips to improve your interviewing abilities?
1. Remember that you’re trying to determine if the company is right for you as well. They are not the only ones with power here. Research aspects of the company prior to the interview and be prepared to ask questions in order to see if the position and company are a good fit.
2. Greet the interviewer with a warm smile and maintain eye contact. This is where some people run into problems. They come into the interview nervous and without a clear plan of action. After that initial handshake, make sure to keep eye contact (if all else fails look at the person’s forehead). If you are being interviewed by more than one person, make sure you are making eye contact with each interviewer as you are answering questions. You need to remain confident and calm as you navigate your way through the interview.
3. Listen carefully and make mental notes of questions to ask. A lot of the time the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions about the position, company, etc., this is your time to ask the questions you’ve been thinking of. No questions are out of bounds as long as they are related to the job or the type of work needed. You’re trying to see if the company and position are right for you, so remember that and do not get frustrated.
4. Have brief and positive answers for questions. Interviewers will ask you why you left your last company, why you have gaps in your employment history, why you appear to have too many jobs and why you want to work for this company. Prepare a list of answers to these questions so that you will not be blindsided when they pop up, because they will pop up.
5. Be positive and upbeat throughout the interview. Keep your energy up. Interviewers can tell when your interest starts to wane, so keep up the positive energy flowing. Don’t fake it, but make it genuine. Tell them why you’re interested in the company, why you think you’re a good fit for their needs and how you believe that you can achieve great things there.
Does the sound of ‘group interview’ make you cringe? Does it immediately bring to mind Will Smith in ‘Men in Black‘ and the weird egg shaped chair? Did you think, ‘Uh-uh. No way!’? I did too, until I did a little research on it.
Group interviews are held when multiple applicants are seeking a limited number of positions, which they interview for together. The interview typically involves a company presentation, group discussions, and role playing exercises. Usually if a company is conducting candidate group interviews, it’s because they have a large group of applicants and are looking for the simplest, most cost effective way to reject the majority of them.
While this is unlucky news for most applicants, it’s great news for you, the informed interviewee . Group interviews are the perfect opportunity to stand out and define yourself as a leader, and you should have plenty of time to prepare, since human resources almost always informs applicants of the group interview format beforehand. Follow these few tips to ensure a successful, stress free group interview experience.
Before your Group Candidate Interview
• Get ready well in advance, and be a few minutes early. Dress nicely, as you would for a one on one interview. There may be individuals who show up to the interview dressed casually, but their sloppy appearance will only highlight your professional attire.
• Bring a light briefcase or portfolio with you resume, a writing tablet, and two working pens.
• Greet the other candidates warmly and genuinely, even though they are your competition. You will need a good rapport with the other applicants to really shine during the role playing exercises and other group activities, and, anyway, you never know who may end up your coworker or even superior.
During Your Group Candidate Interview
• Expect the group interview to start with an introductory greeting from the human resources or hiring manager, who may be joined by other members of management. Do your best to remember their full names and faces.
• Be confident and try to stand out as a leader during group activities. You can expect to have to work in teams and speak in front of audiences, so do your best to overcome any social anxiety. Even if someone else takes the leadership role, still remain engaged and active. You cannot do the bare minimum and succeed.
• If you are able to lead, make sure you lead well. Involve all team members, even more reserved ones, criticize constructively, encourage and take into account feedback, and praise when praise is due. These are the qualities interviewers are looking to see in potential employees.
• Expect to be watched at all times and judged. While you can particularly expect to be evaluated during group exercises, where interviewers will drop in on each group as well as observe from around the room, you can also count on your casual conversations during breaks to be analyzed as well. Always stay professional and friendly.
Typical Group Interview Activities
• Role playing: Group interviewers frequently plan this activity for candidates. Typically, the interviewer will give two or more people in the group a scene to act out, which is often related to workplace expectations.
• Presentations: Applicants, often working together in groups, are given a topic and a number of materials and are expected to create presentations. Sometimes candidates are given a hypothetical problem to resolve and create a presentation around.
Now that you know what to expect, doesn’t it feel a little less painful?