I’ll never forget my first interview as a newbie. I probably looked like a nervous Chihuahua staring wide-eyed at my possible employers. I was first shoved into a dingy office room where I had to complete a data analysis of a bunch of complex graphs and figures and convert it into excel. My palms were sweaty and my heart was pounding. “Ok Ana, BREATHE!” After about 10 minutes of calming myself down, I started tackling the problem that was given to me. I had no problem analysing the data, but I was completely useless at excel! (I was kicking myself for skipping those lessons in varsity- no I REALLY was kicking myself) I am sure the interviewers could hear me through the walls as I argued to myself. I possibly did a good re-enactment of Gollum from Lord of the Rings.
My time was eventually up and I had to face the hungry Rottweilers. (Not just 1 but 6 of them!) I was asked numerous questions all related to the excel spreadsheet and could see that an eyebrow was raised at some of the wonderful manipulations on excel.
Needless to say, I never got a call back for a second interview.
So, what I am trying to say, is that you can never be too over-prepared for that interview. It is your make or break! The fact that they called you means that they see potential from your cv. The interview is just to get to know you and perhaps a chance for you to demonstrate some of your skills. (Just don’t be a fool like me.) Here are some of my tips I have learnt from my experiences in getting THE job!
- Research the company you are applying for. Read up on them, see if they have also been in the social media or news lately for anything significant.
- Read up on possible questions interviewers ask, and have a good idea what you will say.
- Brush on areas that you may have to do this job role that you are not too clued on, you do not want to end up in the same situation like me.
- Dress appropriately. Don’t rock up to that interview in your jeans and a baggy t-shirt. First impressions are vital!
- Be on time… I always leave to an interview earlier than needed just in case there is traffic or you battle to find parking. Plus, it looks good if you arrive at you interview earlier.
- As tempting it may be, NEVER bad mouth your previous co-workers or company. This implies a negative attitude, typical of those who don’t take personal responsibility for their actions.
- Don’t lie! I once read that a man lied during his interview mentioning he is a professional piano player (Which he wasn’t.) About a year later his boss asked him to play the piano for a function at work. He ended up googling ways in breaking his fingers to prevent him from playing! OUCH! Your little white lies will always come back and haunt you.
- Lastly, smile! No, not that creepy serial killer smile…Yes, better a friendly smile.
So, there you have it, that simple. Be confident, put your best outfit on and smile! Go out there, do your best, broaden your horizons, and remember you are never too old to learn!