After numerous hours of browsing job sites, writing job applications and nail-biting by the phone, you’ve finally landed a job interview. A great big hypothetical congratulations to you!
Getting an interview is an achievement in itself, but it’s best to keep your champagne bottle corked for now. With university graduation rates rising, the job market is as competitive as it’s ever been.
Employers are spoilt for choice so it’s up to you to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack! Below are some tips to get you interview-ready.
First impressions never fade
It’s a cliché for a reason. Research shows that employers take around 385 seconds to decide if you’re right for the role, so it’s critical that you nail the initial introduction.
Remember, before you’ve even opened your mouth, your appearance, attire and manner have already been scrutinized. These elements are as important as the work you’ve put in to get there.
Dress codes can be ambiguous but it’s always better to err on the side of formal. Give a firm handshake and establish eye contact to communicate confidence.
Do your Research
Demonstrate your interest in the company by conducting prior research. Knowledge of the organisation’s history and culture will form easy talking points. Establishing a free-flowing conversation from the beginning will make for a smoother transition into the harder-hitting questions.
Read as much as possible about the specific role you’ve applied for and any selection criteria. This will enable you to draw upon your most relevant personal experiences when responding to the interviewer’s prompts.
Know your weaknesses, not just your strengths
Employers want to know what you do and don’t do well. Consider both carefully and come up with strategies that you plan to (or ideally, already have) implemented to address your weaknesses. This will show maturity and a commitment to self-development.
Don’t fear rejection
Like riding a bike, or indeed opening a bottle of champagne, interviewing takes practice. You might not nail it straight away, but you’ll be better for each experience. If you are unsuccessful, follow up with the HR department for feedback. Most organisations are happy to provide it and you should pick something up for next time.
If you’ve been applying for jobs but haven’t received any interview requests, it’s not cause to abandon the search altogether! Perhaps your cover letter just needs a little tweak!
If you are a current Swinburne student or recent graduate, you have access to a range of career development services via Careers and Employability.