Don’t become an Interview cliche!
Interviews are an important stage in the application process, particularly if you’re looking for professional work experience, or want to take part in a summer scheme. It’s easy to slip into theatrical-mode during your interview. The key to interview success is to be confident and be yourself. Here are a few classic characters to look out for:
The Shakin ‘Stevens
The overly nervous interviewee is characterised by sweaty palms, shaking knees, and an inability to maintain eye contact. Their volume is likely to be erratic – they typically speak too loudly, or too loudly, or too quietly. Often sentences are garbled and rambling.
The Serious Intellectual
The thinker is usually the antithesis of the chatterer. Serious and unsmiling, their answers seem overly calculated, uptight, and seriously lacking in spontaneity.
The Apprentice Candidate
There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Don’t let your degree get to your head. Giving the impression that you think you’re too good for a role certainly isn’t going to convince an employer to hire you. Arrogance is characterised by self-important boasting.
Asking questions is important, but be careful not to turn into the interviewer. You are there to talk about you – don’t try to answers questions with questions. Turning the interview into a debate won’t make you look clever – save the majority of your enquiries until the end.
The idea of an interview is to talk with an employer. Don’t talk too much though. Employers are usually looking for someone with the ability to be selective. Talking too much indicates that you don’t know what they are looking for. What’s more, no employer is going to hire someone they think might talk all day.
The Gap Yah
If you’re going to talk about your gap year experiences in an interview, whatever you do, make sure that it’s relevant. An employer wants to know how your experiences helped to develop new skills, not how great your tan was.
The Try Hard
Nothing is too hard for the try hard. They typically don’t know when to stop smiling, and their incessant positivity smacks of falseness and naivety. It’s good to be keen, but don’t over do it.
The Dire Straits
Enthusiasm is one thing, desperation is another. Extreme cases of interview desperation include asking the interviewer if they believe that you’re good enough for the job, and even begging them to hire you. You need to control your emotions. Discuss your reasons for wanting the job in terms of your skills, not your needs.
For some people, the best way to overcome pre-interview anxiety is to come prepared with a joke or two. It’s fine to try and break the ice, but humour isn’t always the best way to go about it. Most employers are looking to hire someone who is likeable, but forcing yourself upon them isn’t a good way to reveal your fun-side.