Meeting the new in-laws for the first time; giving a speech at your best friend’s wedding; signing your life away, we mean, buying your first home.
There are moments in our adult lives where it becomes very clear there are two types of people; those who thrive off adrenaline or those who want to curl up in the foetal position in a dark room.
A job interview tops this list for many.
Yet the palm-sweat inducing process is an important and inescapable part of landing the job you want and furthering your career.
To ensure you’re putting your best self forward, and to keep as much stress at bay as possible, we spoke to a career expert about how to nail your next interview.
You wouldn’t head off to a mixed netball game without at least one practice run, or to a date without knowing the person's name, so why wouldn’t you thoroughly prepare for a job interview?
“There really is no such thing as being over-prepared,” ECU Senior Careers Adviser Gina Susca said. “Always err on the side of caution because you’ll feel more confident and present better.”
First up, research the business you’re interviewing for so you’re across their values, any projects they’re working on and to check you’ll be the right cultural fit.
“Before the interview, it’s a good idea to record yourself in a practice interview so you’re not only prepared, but aware of your body language and any bad habits like fidgeting,” she said.
Also, if you’re the kind of person who is always sending the “running 10 mins late” message, Ms Susca recommended doing a dummy run of the journey ahead of time.
“I once had someone come in for a mock interview in a Hawaiian shirt and shorts… don’t do that,” Ms Susca laughed.
She said the way you present yourself was the first thing the interviewer would notice, and it had the potential to make a lasting impression.
Ensure you’re professionally dressed from head to toe, have tidy hair and nails and check your teeth before you head in – even in the event of a Skype interview.
“If you do a Skype interview, don’t go business at the top and party at the bottom, as I’ve spoken to someone who got up only to reveal they were wearing pyjamas during the interview,” Ms Susca said.
Of course, be yourself, but be the best version of yourself.
If the interviewer asks about you, don’t give them a rundown of your Saturday night or what you had for breakfast, talk about your career and any connected hobbies or volunteer work.
Come in prepared with an iPad or portfolio if you have work to showcase, as well as a notepad with highlighted questions or notes to use as prompters in case you veer off track.
“You need to be yourself, but make sure you keep in mind the skills listed on the initial application and come in ready to demonstrate and articulate that,” she said
“Be the person they want in their team.”
Managing editor of New York’s Business Insider Jessica Liebman sent Twitter into a frenzy recently when she declared she would never hire someone who didn’t follow up with a thank you email after an interview.
Ms Susca said Jessica made a good point, as this practice showed you were committed and wanted the position.
“A thank you for the opportunity and interview is an important email to send within 24 hours of your interview,” she said.
“You’ll come across as professional, courteous and show you’re serious about wanting the job.”
It is one thing to stand out in a job interview, but first, you need to land that job interview. To improve your chances of being selected for an interview, further your studies with a postgrad degree from ECU. With a wide range of study areas, from arts and humanities to business or teaching, you can build on or switch careers for a brighter and exciting future with a world-class education. Visit ecuworldready.com.au/postgraduate for more information.
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