Going for an interview can be a devastating experience if you don't know what you are going up against. This article looks in to some tips and strategies for obstacles that might come along.At age 23, you are finally going for your first interview. Armed with a qualification and a few internships, you think you are ready for anything. Dressed in your power suite, you march into what you hope is your new job. After waiting in the reception area, they ask you to enter. As you sit down, you realise that you are completely over-dressed. Everyone else in the office is dressed in jeans. But not one for focusing on the negative, you take a deep breath and introduce yourself.
Your mind is filled with all the advice your friends and family gave you before. Don't be nervous, make everything positive, and don't reveal any weaknesses. The first question the panel asks you is:
"What are your strengths and weakness'?"
You hesitate; your head that was filled with endless possible answers has gone completely blank. You try and think of an answer, so you start with the easy part, the strengths. As you try hopelessly to quickly think of a weakness that is not really weakness but more of a strength. As you babble on, you realise that you have actually said nothing. Your hands get clammy, you have to move on to the weakness part but you still haven't thought of anything.
First interviews are the worst. Interviews are generally very daunting. Either you babble on, ask all the wrong questions or give the wrong answers.
The average 20 to 25 year old is busy going to their first interview, while the average 25 to 30 year old will switch jobs at least three to five times within those 5 years. Which means you better learn quickly on how to answer those tricky questions.
Here are a few pointers for interviews. Wear your best professional outfit. Have sparkling glossy hair, polished shoes, manicured hands, light make up and remove all those 'extra' earrings. When it comes to that interview, you want to look the part of the position you are applying for, for example if you are applying as a PA, then look the part and give the image of being organised and efficient.
In order to handle the dreaded question: "what are your weaknesses?" counteract a negative with a positive, e.g.: "I prefer to be the one in the background making it happen, but if I need to take centre stage, then I will."
To get rid of the nervous bug, just breath. Sitting up straight with your hands still on your lap will help with your composure and hide those shaking hands. Always listen and make eye contact. If you do go blank while in the interview, be honest and say you have gone blank. Honesty is the best policy when going for an interview.
Preparation is vital. Always remember the address of the company you are going to. If you are not sure of the neighbourhood, then go on a test run the day before to ensure you know where the location is. Also make sure you know the name of the person who is doing the interview and what title that person is. Researching the company is another good idea. Most companies have websites or have press releases on the Internet.
Ask the interviewer what the interview process is and how long it will take so you have an idea when you will hear from them again. Recruitment agencies are always a good way to go, as they act as the middleman between you and companies. This way, there is someone looking for jobs for you, who gives you advice and guides you through the process. They also try and negotiate the best deal on your behalf.
Get your friend to try out questions on you the day before, so you can be prepared and work out the best answers for the more obvious cliché questions.
Using a recruitment agency to represent you will give you the opportunity for feedback after the interview. In this way you can be better prepared to handle things differently at the next interview. Do not be too hard on yourself. There may have been somebody more suitable for the position and this was just not the right job for you.