Interviews are your chance to show the potential employer the real you, but also for you to interview them to see if you can see yourself working in that environment and organisation.
Interviews come in many different formats; formal, panel, telephone, assessment days, psychometric testing, informal over a cup of coffee… but ultimately the most important thing is to prepare yourself and present yourself appropriately. Give yourself the time and space to think about what you really want, whether it be in life or work. Is this job right for you? Are the company values ones you share? If the answer is yes to these, then ensure you have done your research on the company and have plenty of examples of your achievements and results.
Be true to yourself. Take things in steps. Ambition is great, but being overambitious and often failing is difficult to cope with. Are you mentally prepared and confident you can deal with the unknown? Make sure you have taken the time to do your homework first and you are prepared both physically and mentally.
If you are looking at changing career, you need to be able to promote yourself effectively so that your future employer understands more about you. But firstly you need to understand what job you want to apply for. What is your goal? The one CV for all jobs you apply for, blanket approach isn’t very effective. You need to recognise your skills and be able to promote them appropriately to the employer you are applying to. Employers don’t care about what you can do, but what you can do for them! CVs need to reflect the job adverts, and should be tweaked to include the jargon and language used.
Put more effort and energy into really understanding yourself, the organisation and the position in the application stage. This will also really help with your interview preparation as you’ve done most of your homework already.
Think positively! Before an interview, focus on yourself, on your breathing and body language, and get yourself into the right frame of mind. If you come across as a positive and outgoing person in a job interview, you are much more likely to give a good impression and get that dream job. Practise at home. Keep a positivity diary, where you write down the positive things that have happened to you every day. A great way to get yourself into the right frame of mind before a test or challenging situation such as an interview, competition or presentation, is to do a Power Pose for 2 minutes. Stick out your chest, shoulders back, head held high, and feel confident. This is where professional coaching on confidence and assertiveness can really help make a difference. It really works!
Practise! As with everything in life, the more you practise, the easier it becomes. It is the same with being more confident and assertive, and when applying for jobs. Focus on what your triggers are – what gets you angry, nervous, tense? Learn strategies on how to respond to situations which might trigger emotions, or how to answer tricky questions by saying “That’s an interesting question, let me think” or “Could you please repeat the question”, and practise, practise, practise!
Value yourself. If you don’t value yourself and have pride in what you do, then don’t expect others to value you. First things first, if you don’t have pride in yourself, prospective employers won’t either!
Remember to breath, present yourself well and prepare. Think positively, and be yourself, as ultimately, if you manage to put yourself forward confidently you will get the job. If you don’t it probably would not have been the right job for you, and there will be another job out there with your name on it!