Above: Liz and Holly from Niagara College conducting a mock job interview with Taylor – Photo Courtesy: Peter Beens
Applying for jobs can be a full time job. It involves customising your CV, signing up for online job search engines, checking several job sites on a daily basis, writing cover letters and networking. Thereâ€™s a lot of groundwork to do before being shortlisted for a job.
If youâ€™ve been lucky enough to get an interview for a role you applied for, you should maximise your chances of getting the job. Remember these five things before your interview.
1. Do your research
This canâ€™t be stressed enough â€“ always do your research about the company youâ€™re interviewing with. Browse their website to find out who they are and what they do, read the company blog as well as the latest annual report to get an understanding of the business. Do a search in Google to see if there are any articles featuring the company and its employees, and try to figure out who their competitors are. Check any social media profiles and see if you can find more information about your interviewer on LinkedIn.
2. Figure out what your selling points are
Sit down and analyse your own strengths and weaknesses and try to pick out three reasons why youâ€™ll be perfect for the job youâ€™re applying for. Do this with the job and person specifications in mind to ensure that the selling points you choose are relevant for the position.
3. Write a list of questions
When the interviewer asks you if you have any questions, you should never say â€˜noâ€™ as it will make you seem uninterested. So prepare a list of questions about the job itself, the company and its people or anything at all that wasnâ€™t clear in the job specification. Examples of good questions are:
- If I get the job, what would my top two priorities be?
- Why is this position available?
- What do you think is the best thing about working here?
- How would you describe a typical day in this position?
4. Practise with a friend
Have a friend or family member ask you questions that are likely to be asked in the interview. (There are tons of sites online that will give you an idea of what kind of questions you should prepare for.) Try to simulate an interview situation by sitting on a table facing each other. Answer the questions as you would in the interview and make sure your friend gives you feedback on how you performed. By practising your answers youâ€™ll notice if they are too long or short or if you need to do some more research.
5. Be confident
Keep in mind that the interviewer is just a normal human being who is no better than you in any way. Try to see the person behind the official role and youâ€™ll see that thereâ€™s no reason to be intimidated by him or her. Remember that you are also there to evaluate the interviewer and the company and see if you even want to work there. Try not to come across as too confident though.
Other things to keep in mind before a job interview are to check where the interview is and how to get there, to make sure you have picked out a smart and clean outfit the day before, to wash your hair and not to wear too much perfume, aftershave or make-up.
Whatever you do, donâ€™t go out for a few drinks the night before or stay up until 2 am. Being tired or hung over will NOT help you get the job.
L.A. Fuel is a brand of energy gum and can help to give you a temporary boost when youâ€™re feeling tired such as when you have a job interview first thing in the morning.