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A guide to Job Interviews

  • Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Pre-interview tips, best practice for mid-interview, and post-interview after care.

Following last week's National Careers Week, we’re looking into the humble-yet-mighty job interview. You’ve ran the gauntlet- you’ve gathered work experience, you’ve potentially completed a couple of courses (click here find some available near you), but the last barrier to you getting that job and the foothold in the career you want, is a public speaking event where you will need to sell your expertise- and not everyone finds them easy.

If there is one constant in a person’s modern life, it is the job interview. Job interviews can make a lot of people feel understandably nervous, but there are a number of ways you can prepare to help lessen the stress.

  • Check the date and time of the interview- might sound simple, but you wouldn’t want to run late or arrive just on time- potentially making you flustered and not your most confident
  • Consider making a “dry run” trip prior to the interview, if you’re unfamiliar with the location
  • Gather anything you might need the night before, so you’re ready to head out the door
  • Complete any research you might need to do prior to the interview- does the company you’re applying to work with have a social media presence? Is there a blog on their website? You don’t have to be a full expert in everything they do, but taking an interest and showing that interest goes a long way
  • Be presentable- make sure you’re wearing smart (yet comfortable) clothing
  • Make sure your phone is switched off- so you don’t get any intrusions or any potential distractions
  • Be sure to ask prepared questions about the job- this interview is also an opportunity to make sure the job is right for you, too
  • Don’t rush- take a sip of water if you need to, or a short pause when answering questions to really consider your answers
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for questions to be repeated
  • Link your transferable skills from your hobbies as well as past roles- if you volunteer somewhere, for instance, you could include people skills as part of your skills package

During and post-pandemic, a lot of organisations moved to online interviews, using applications such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, to add convenience to people’s schedules. The following are a number of tips you can follow if you’re invited to an online interview:

  • Make sure you have the correct software for the call, and the right link to join
  • Try a test call with a friend or family member to make sure the software works on your device
  • If you’re worried about missing a certain key topic or skill that you feel like you should mention, write it on a sticky note and attach lightly to the edge of your screen so you don’t forget!
  • If you found the interview particularly nerve-wracking or stressful, use the time after the interview to do something nice for yourself, and attempt to relax and decompress at home
  • If you aren’t successful in the interview- all is not lost- you can ask for feedback on how the interview went, which can help for the next interview
  • Most companies keep CVs on file, so you might still be considered for a future role

In conclusion, job interviews may appear stressful and nerve-wracking, but at their core, it’s just a chance for both you and the hiring manager to get to know each other and find out if the role is right for you.

If you’d like more information around finding work in Greater Manchester, we can help:

Learn more about the latest vacancies in Greater Manchester here.

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