Sally's Insights - How to Blow Your Own Trumpet in a Job Interview
Being prepared, calm and well informed before an interview is a must.
Here are a few tips on helping you get through what many feel is a very stressful thing … THE JOB INTERVIEW!
My advice is to take the stress out of worrying about public transport, or where you are going to park. Order a cab or Uber with at least 45 minutes to spare. It’s much easier to get there early, go to a café or park and wait, so you walk in on time and relaxed. If you do want to drive, do a drive-by the day before so you know where the location is and closest parking. Some places have great car parks, ring reception the day before and ask.
Do your research or due diligence on the company that you’re being interviewed by. Look at their website, their clients, make notes on what you think of their website, and see what you can find out about the person that is interviewing you and who works there. Being informed makes the interview go much more smoothly for you and doesn’t leave you open to looking foolish when they begin to talk about the company. It’s great if you can join in the conversation from the get-go and have an opinion.
Be yourself. Don’t put on airs and graces. Interviewers can see through that. Yes, they want to hire someone with the skill sets they are looking for, but they are also looking for a cultural fit. Personality plays a large part in employing someone. So be you. Feel comfortable talking about you in a chatty manner.
If you are a creative and your folio is not a printed folio, make sure you take an iPad or laptop with you. Don’t rely on showing your work on the interviewer’s computer. Never just turn up with a hard drive. It smacks of being unprepared and disorganized. If you don’t own one, borrow one for the day. DO NOT rely on the internet, have your work on the desktop or as a PDF. If they want to look at your website, be prepared to connect to your iPhone or dongle, in case they don’t know passwords etc. to the office internet. Make it as stress-free for both of you as possible.
Work out the night before what you plan to wear and how you plan to get there. Dress appropriately. Hot or cold weather, you always have to look tidy and well presented. In many cases there is no need to put on a suit, you don’t want to overdress, but at the same time, you don’t want to turn up in ripped jeans and old trainers. Do your homework on the business. Most websites have an “Our Team” section, check them out, how are they dressed. If the interview is via a recruiter, ask them, they will know the company and be able to advise, (the good ones will be able to anyway). You must feel comfortable, so if jeans and trainers are your thing, make them clean and neat. If it is a role that you think a suit would enhance your chances, maybe relax it by not wearing a tie. I am asked these questions all the time, often at 7.00am I get a text with photos of should I wear this or this … I don’t mind and find it quite endearing, but it is just a stress you don’t need hours before the interview. Be more prepared, plan ahead!
Talk about yourself in a positive manner along with your relevant past experiences. People want to employ those whose glass is half full, not half empty. Know the job and company well and make sure you have the opportunity to talk about why you think you would be a good part of their team. It is your time to shine, so shine !! Don’t be arrogant and criticise their company, but if you are asked an opinion about something, be honest, polite and offer a possible solution if you don’t agree with them. Be solutions focussed!
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