Preparing for job applications and interviews
Job interviews are a reality of looking for work, and one that can be daunting and uncomfortable.
Luckily, irrespective of the kind of interview that you are attending (one-on-one, group, in front of a panel etc.) the key to success is always preparation.
To prepare for your interview, you should:
- Make sure that you are clear on the date, time and location of the interview, as well as the name and position of the person you will be speaking to.
- Be armed with a plan on how you’ll get to the interview, making sure that you leave plenty of time for the journey.
- Learn as much as you can about the company and position. You can do this by looking at the company’s website, annual reports and news articles etc.
- Look at the job advertisement and your job application again. Knowing that you’ve been offered an interview based on your application, should help your confidence.
Try to anticipate some of the questions you might be asked, as your answers will be better if you’ve thought about them in advance. For example:
- What is your understanding of the role?
- Why are you interested in the role?
- How does your experience match the role?
- Can you talk about examples in the past, where you have demonstrated the key skills we are looking for?
- What achievements and accomplishments are you particularly proud of?
- What do you consider to be your strengths and weaknesses?
- How do you work as part of a team?
- How do you approach problems and challenges?
- Please remember, if you are asked about a weakness, that we all have them. What the question is really asking you is, how are you going to improve in the future?
Key points to remember about interviews
- Interviews are your opportunity to show that you have the skills and attributes listed on your resume, that you are genuinely interested in the role and that you will be a good fit.
- You will perform better if you’re well prepared.
- Be clear about the role, research the company, think about why your skills and experience make you perfect for the job and prepare for some common questions.
- First impressions are vital so make sure you think about your appearance and body language.
- Listen carefully and make sure you answer the questions asked, giving examples from your past which relate to your future performance with the new company.
Undertaking virtual calls and interviews online
With the advent of Covid-19, it has become more common for interviews and other calls with prospective employers to be undertaken via online video call systems. It's handy to get the hang of these for professional reasons - once you get a job you may well need to use them as part of your work life too - but they're also great to use with your friends and family!
There are several different platforms that can be used for video calls:
- Google Meet
- Facetime (iPhone and Apple only)
- Facebook Messenger
- Whatsapp (phone only)
Most of these applications work on both your phone and your computer, although they are sometimes easier to navigate on a computer, at least until you get a bit more used to them. The most common ones that would be used by prospective employers are Zoom and Teams. You will also need to be able to use Teams for your initial appointment call with your dedicated Employment Plus recruitment consultant.
Check out this handy guide on how to use Zoom:
And make sure you watch these tutorials on how to use Teams: