So you’ve been asked to attend an interview for your dream job, the one you were hoping to get a chance at. What do you do now? How do you nail the interview, and give yourself the best possible chance of being offered the job?
Prepare in advance
Firstly, do your homework. Begin by learning as much as you can about the organisation and (if possible) about the people who will be interviewing you. Read mission statements, organisational goals, and the ‘About Us’ pages on websites to get a good feel for what the company needs – and then use this information to think about what skills, experiences, and traits you can offer that meet those needs. If you have a portfolio of work samples, decide which ones are the best match for this position, and what you want to say about them to the interviewers.
Also, think through the practicalities of the interview itself. Plan how you’ll get there (allowing plenty of time so that you’re not late), and make sure you have a professional interview outfit which is suitable for your industry.
Nail your interview on the day
Make a good first impression on the day by being punctual, professional, and polite to everyone you meet, including the receptionist. Even if you’re (understandably) nervous, do your best to remain calm and positive when you meet the interviewers. If it helps, think of it as an opportunity to demonstrate that you’re able to respond gracefully in stressful situations!
During the interview, remember your research, and focus on how you can help the organisation to meet its goals. While the interviewers are keen to get to know you as a person, they’re considering you for a specific role, and they need to know how you can fill that role. Be scrupulously honest about your experience and qualifications, and don’t be afraid to say something like, ‘I haven’t used that particular software, but I’ve picked up new programs quickly in the past, and I’m willing to put in the effort to become an expert in this one.’
What questions to ask
The questions you ask tell the interviewers a lot about you as a person, so be mindful of the impression you’re giving. It’s okay (and expected) to ask about working conditions, salary, and overtime hours, but don’t let those be your only questions. Once again, remember what you’ve learnt about the organisation, and go in prepared to ask questions which reflect that. For example, if their strategic plan for the next five years includes expanding into new markets, you might ask whether the position you’re applying for will have a role in that. Use your questions to show the interviewers that you are genuinely interested in the company and that you’ve taken the time to learn about them in advance.
If you’re struggling to move beyond the interview stage, or not even sure what your dream job would look like, career coaching can help you find your feet and move forward. Contact Eiran on 0466 495 711 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
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