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Three Interview Essentials That You Need To Master

I like to think of the interview process as a game of Pac Man.

Stick with me on this one…

Article by Jessica K.

During an interview, you, as the interviewee, are under constant pressure, much like little Pac Man, striving to answer the questions, remain focussed and ahead of the game and all the while encouraging the interviewer to follow you for the ride.

Throughout this intense process, if you do it correctly, you’ll be gaining kudos, or little golden nuggets (to keep stretching this analogy as far as it will go), and most importantly, not dying (metaphorically speaking of course).

Appearance

Dress to impress, it really is as simple as that. Or is it?

During an interview everything about ‘you’ is judged and the first judgement made by the employer is one concerning your choice of outfit. I can’t stress enough how important it is to dress according to the specific company standards and values. Make an informed decision, should you be expected to dress in a smart suit or more smart casual attire showing you are in tune with a specific brand?

I made the mistake of turning up to an interview for a children’s toy and book shop in a full blown suit, borrowed from my friend, and it was beyond over the top for the role I was hoping to get, causing me to feel rather uncomfortable when I first met my prospective employer. Now I’m not saying I should have shown up in a dinosaur costume or anything like that but a toned down, more casual approach would have been better.

The last thing you want to do is give off the wrong impression simply from your outfit. By all means inject some of your own personal style into your outfit choice, that way you will be at your most relaxed and comfortable and in turn able to focus properly on actually being interviewed rather than fretting over what the interviewer is making of the oversized jacket you borrowed from your dad. 

Interview Essentials - Waiting

Image by: chsehed41

Preparation

Preparation for you interview truly is key. Never just leave it to the night before either! Spend as much time as you have before the interview takes place reading up on your prospective employer because you can bet your bottom dollar you will be asked a question directly relating to the company you are interviewing to be part of.

It doesn’t look all too impressive if you are unable to answer even a simple question such as, who was the founder of hypothetical corporation, as my brother found out when he was left red faced after not knowing the company owners name during an interview.

Preparation will not only allow you to shine in front of your potential employee, it will also allow you to feel at ease and in control of the high pressure interview environment. This feeling of security and control during an interview process is particularly important in the case of a group interview whereby the pressure is even more intense through the element of direct competition between you and the other candidates.

To be the best you must prepare better than the rest!

The Questions

Interview questions are fundamentally open ended. They’re tricky, vague, startling and designed to completely throw you off guard, testing your reactions in trying situations. Now it’s time to focus.

The preparation you have done in accordance with tip number two will stand you in good stead for the specific company related questions, however, the questions you can’t always prepare for are the ones about yourself and your opinions. These are the most likely pitfalls in any interview and to avoid this trap you must stand by the golden rule of honesty.

At the end of the day you are a human being with a personality and it won’t hurt to let the interviewer see a glimpse of the real you. I’ve often found that being yourself can open more doors than simply acting out a part so don’t be afraid to tell them a little about yourself, even if like me you end up admitting your favourite film is Lion King!

These seemingly random questions, such as, what is your favourite film?, are all ways in which your potential employer is attempting to suss you out so always  be honest and deliver your answer with a smile.

If you manage to nail these three interview essentials I can guarantee that you won’t turn grey and disappear into a dark void of unemployment, you will instead rise up, triumphant and move onto the next level!

Does anyone have any tips or stories they want to share about conquering important interviews?

Jessica is a student with a vibrant personality who enjoys exploring her passion for writing. She has attended many interviews and learnt plenty of priceless tips and tricks from her trials and tribulations in the interview room.

Featured Image by: quinn.anya

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