By ChestnutSlippers
5 years ago


Since Graduating from University three years ago, I've had a LOT of interviews. To be honest, I was so desperate for money back then that I just applied for anything and everything. I must have gotten about 10 per week for about 2 months. Now, if you are anything like me, interviews absolutely terrify you. I would revise for hours, learn everything I could about the company and plan answers to every possible question, but when the moment came I would freeze up, stutter, and come across as a bad candidate. However, the jobs that I did land, I was offered on the spot. So I've decided to put together some things that I've learned from attending so many interviews. This is what worked for me, rather than what is expected to work. Hope this is helpful.

1. Establish a Connection with the Interviewer.
Sure, being professional is important, but you know who else will be professional? 90% of the other 100 candidates. You need to sell yourself, make this person think you are "meant to be" in the company. Keep it short and sweet, and casual so as not to come across as a suck up. Light hearted positive comments about anything you can see - framed holiday photos, kids, art and decor etc. Make the employer LIKE you, while maintaining a professional attitude. This can be a hard balance, but if you keep trying I guarantee you will get it.

2. Be Overly Prepared
Memorizing a bunch of answers is fine, but learning about the company and planning lots of questions about it will really make you shine. Don't ask about things such as money, holidays, or anything that will make it seem like you're considering days off before you've even started. Ask something that will make the interviewer/manager feel good. Ask about a new product, something you spotted when you entered the facility, branding, ingredients, advertisement, anything that makes you seem enthusiastic and interested.

3. Have a bunch of references.
Some people only have one or two, but if you can find a way to have more, you're in with a great chance. Put something on your CV like "6 Professional references are available upon request". To gain references, do some volunteer work, work experience, or even some freelancing. You could even just do some gardening, dog walking, anything that shows initiative. Have them all ready on hand to show the employer, and explain which you think are most suitable but confidently give them the choice to contact any of them. (A college or university teacher can be a reference, by the way.)

4. Take pride in Personal achievements.
It's not all about your working life, it's also about your character. If you won a competition, took part in a sport, helped someone through a difficult time etc, use THAT as an answer once or twice, rather than repeating information about your old job. It's about getting them to remember you, telling a story that no other person would have came close to telling. They've heard all about "teamwork" in the working environment, but what about teamwork when it comes to your personal life?

5. Health and Fitness
People forget this, but knowing you are fit and healthy gives you so many bonus points! Let them know that you exercise. If the job has an early start, explain that you are used to early mornings as you visit the gym at 6am regularly. Find a way to add that you jog, or even that you eat healthily. Above all, make sure you sound wide awake and enthusiastic. Make sure they know you've been keeping yourself active.

I hope this helps. Job interviews can be pretty tough. Make sure you dress smart, have long hair tied back, and above all look friendly and up-beat. Listen to some inspiring music every time you feel those nervous butterflies, and don't be disheartened if an interview goes wrong. Literally 8 out of every 10 of mine went wrong, I cried at a bunch of them, but I got better with time and eventually became a decent interviewee.

5 years
LiaF7 Great advice. Really great. But none work when they want a candidate for his first job with two years experience. I wonder who has two years experience without working.
5 years
5 years
ChestnutSlippers Sadly like most others I had to do a TON of unpaid work experience and volunteer work before landing anything. Try applying for a month or two of unpaid work close to your home. Charity shops, animal shelters, and care homes are always looking for volunteers. Then move onto different unpaid work every few months, to gain more experience and references until you find a paid position.
5 years
4 years
Shavkat @ChestnutSlippers Nice article
4 years