Job Interview Tips for Wicklow Jobseekers

18/02/21

You’ve just landed an interview at your dream job – congratulations! Now it’s time to prepare for your interview. But where do you start?

From our experience of helping graduates land their dream jobs, here are our top tips for what to do before, during and after your job interview. And to help you prepare, we’ve also added some of the most common interview questions that employers ask!

Before the interview

Whether the interview takes the form of an informal 15-minute conversation or a more formal hour-long process, what you do before your interview will dictate how you do. Make sure you set aside plenty of time for the following before your interview:

Research the company and your interviewers

Go into your interview with confidence by learning about your prospective employer. Trawl through their website and social media accounts, and research their latest press mentions to find out more. Almost every employer will ask what you know about the company, but often candidates don’t prepare enough for this question.

Try to find something about the company that particularly sparked your interest, and don’t be afraid to say so. Maybe they’ve secured new external funding or have created an innovative solution, or perhaps they have supported a local charity that’s close to your heart. You can also relate the company profile to your own, and express why you will be a good fit.

Focus on the job description

Skills and responsibilities listed on the job description are often overlooked by candidates once they reach the interview stage, but they should be central to your interview preparation. Align your experience and skills to those specified by the employer.

Use the STAR method

Situational questions like “tell us about a time you were under pressure at work” are becoming increasingly common in job interviews. Interviewers are hoping to learn how you respond to challenges, or how you utilised certain skills with these questions.

Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action & Result) to ensure your answers are focused and clear.

Practise common interview questions

Sometimes it’s the easiest questions that can flounder candidates. The seemingly innocuous “tell us about yourself” is so broad that it can leave you going off-topic very quickly. What an employer wants to hear with this question is what value you will bring to the role, and how you will fit in with the company culture.

Employers may also ask about your salary expectations. Make sure you know what the salary range for similar positions is.

Find a friend or family member who will conduct a mock interview with you. You’ll quickly become more comfortable answering questions when you practise aloud.

Have some questions of your own ready

Usually an interview is wrapped up by the interviewer asking if you have any questions. This is a great opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the role, and that you are serious about working with the company.

Employ your own curiosity and go back to the job description for some inspiration.

During the interview

Now that you’ve prepared for the interview, it’s time to put your preparation into practice. Here are some other considerations for the interview itself:

Dress appropriately

Don’t be afraid to ask about the dress code expected for the interview and for the role. Once you know what to wear, it is also a good idea to dress comfortably. There’s nothing worse than squirming in a tight suit or ill-fitting shoes during an interview.

Plan for every eventuality

Make sure you know the route to the interview location, and take traffic and other delays into account when planning. If you are taking public transport, what are your backup options? You should also have a notepad and pen to hand during the interview. You may like to take notes for follow-up questions, and it also shows you are prepared. Having spare copies of your CV can also be useful.

First impressions count

This is something that starts before your interview. Ensure you are professional and courteous with everyone you meet onsite. Don’t be afraid to smile, and use body language to express confidence and openness. Crossing or folding your arms can give a bad impression for example.

It’s also important to be positive and enthusiastic throughout the interview. That includes when discussing your current or previous employers – focus instead on what you’ve gained from the role and why you are interested in the role you are interviewing for.

Honesty is the best policy

You should resist the temptation to embellish, or try to answer a question you simply don’t know the answer to. Focus on your skills and experience, and if you are stumped by a technical question, don’t be afraid to say it’s something you will need to refresh yourself on.

Relax!

Everyone is nervous when it comes to interviews, but try to adopt a learning mindset as much as possible. If an interview doesn’t go well, chalk it down to experience and use the experience to improve for next time.

It’s also worth remembering that interviewers aren’t trying to trip you up. They simply want to learn more about you!

After the interview

Regardless of how the interview went, make sure you leave on a positive note. Thank the interviewers for their time, and for giving you the chance to learn more about the company.

You can also ask about the next steps in the process – sometimes employers may want to conduct a second interviewer, or require you to submit an assignment or assessment to test your practical skills. They may also follow up with the references you have provides.

You can also follow up by email to thank your interviewers for their time, and how you enjoyed speaking with them.

Did you know?

Pitman Training Wicklow offer free career consultations and CV review clinics for jobseekers in Wicklow. To get in touch or to arrange an appointment, call 01 281 2428, WhatsApp/SMS 086 065 8570 or email [email protected]!

 

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