Interviewing is something everyone has to experience if they’re entering the world of work. No matter where you apply, nor what you apply for, it’s likely you will have to prepare for a formal interview at some point. But how do you really know you’re ready? Everyone feels nervous sometimes – but if things seem really shaky, it’s high time you checked in for some support. Here are a few great things you can do to prepare.
Practice, Practice, Practice
What’s your interview technique like? Do you know how to answer the most likely questions you’ll be asked? Do you have the right attire, and the right attitude? If not, why not?
Now is the time to start practicing for an interview. Learning interview skills will help you prepare for every opportunity that heads your way in future. Why not roleplay an interview with a friend, or someone you trust? You could look up a few sample questions online.
You could also ask a professional to sit down with you and recreate interview conditions. A dry run can really help your confidence. Honest feedback, too, is something you’ll need.
Get Your CV Fighting Fit
To me, a CV and a cover letter are far more than just a piece of paper. Don’t fall at the first hurdle.
Your CV, or your resume, is your ticket to the job you want. It’s a record of everything you’ve ever done, and everything you want to do. Without it, you don’t have much to stand on. Therefore, you must make sure it’s selling you at your best, and that you’re not falling into any pitfalls.
Check sample CVs online. Keep things brief and relevant. Tailor your CV to individual applications wherever possible. Is it more than one page long? Time to edit.
Of course, you should also be careful with spelling and grammar. A poorly-worded or presented CV is going to destroy your chances before you even get to interview. Make sure it’s factual, and that it represents who you are, and where you’re heading.
You should also refresh your CV regularly. To do this, it is well worth contacting a professional resume designer. They will be able to help you look at the way your data represents itself. A CV is a visual tool – if it looks flat and uninspiring, you’re going nowhere fast.
It pays to be confident in interviews, but don’t overdo it. It’s also very easy to panic in these circumstances. Think – what is the worst that could happen? You need to show off the best professional you can be. However, if you make mistakes, you can learn from them. Think about how many times your interviewer has sat in your exact position. Do you think they got everything right first time? Probably not.
Take a few deep breaths and visualise yourself in your new job. Think about how you want this job, but also how you’ll bounce back if things don’t go as planned. Put your all into preparing, but don’t fall flat if things go awry.