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interview tips

Finding a job usually means doing an interview. No matter what type of interview you are going for, preparation is key! In this post we will give some useful interview tips and strategies to help you to improve your technique and achieve success at Interviews.


Quick tips

If you have any questions about interviews and job applications you can also chat online to a trained Youth Information Officer.

You can also get direct access to a Crosscare Youth Information Officer who will support you explore your education and career options from supports for early school leaving through to College.   Get help with your CV and get some interview tips or identify your personal strengths and areas of work that would suit you.  You can do this online with MyFuture+ or contact us here.

Interview preparation

Know yourself

  1. Tell me a little about yourself?
  2. What work experience do you have?
  3. What hobbies or interests have you?
  4. What are your achievements?
  5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
  6. What are your greatest weaknesses/strengths?

Know the job

  1. Start by reading the original advertisement.
  2. Underline anything related to the responsibilities of the job, the qualification, training, previous experience, personal characteristics
    required of the job holder.
  3. Go and talk to someone who does this type of work or call into a Youth Information Centre.

Match the job to you

What’s needed v’s What I have

  • Work experience
  • Safe Pass
  • Communication skills
  • References
  • Volunteer experience

Before your interview

  1. Buy a little notebook:  Some people (not all!) find it useful to have a little notebook that you write in when you leave an interview.  Write points that you thought you really did well, and write down the questions that you hesitated on.  Remember the questions you did well on and answer the questions you hesitated on when you have time.  Before your next interview read over your notebook so you won’t be too surprised at the questions asked next time!!
  2. Check the appointment:  Check the exact location and time:  It may be useful to do a ‘dry run’ to see how long it will take, check time tables if necessary. Have a back-up plan!
  3. Dress appropriately:  Wear something that is neat, clean and conservative but reflects the job you are going for.
  4. Bring necessary documents:  A copy of your C.V., references and the letter calling you for the interview.
  5. Be punctual:  Try and be 10-15 minutes early.  This allows for any delay in traffic, finding the personnel department, and time to sit and gather your thoughts.

What to wear

  • Wear a shirt and smart trousers or skirt, and if it is more formal a two piece suit.
  • Keep colours conservative and subtle.
  • Make sure you are well groomed.
  • Hair should be back from your face, not necessarily tied up but caught back.
  • Don’t have a strong overpowering perfume or aftershave.
  • Don’t wear too many accessories, you will play with them when stressed and it can be distracting.
  • Avoid uncomfortable clothes and shoes.

During the interview

You have done your preparation (read your notebook) but there are a few interview tips that may help:

  • Sit with your legs together and your hands on your lap.
  • Do not eat even if offered.
  • Listen carefully to the questions.
  • Tell the truth.
  • Never complain (I hated my last job is NEVER a good interview answer to any question).  Always be positive.
  • Try and expand your answers.
  • Show that you are interested in the job.
  • Remember the people interviewing you will have read a lot of other CV’s so it is up to you to get across at interview stage all that is on your CV.
  • Don’t answer a question that you don’t understand, it is okay to say you don’t understand a question.

Leaving the interview

So your interview is done, until you exit the building and are…. ‘a bit down the road’ still act as if you are in the interview process!!

  • Smile at all the interviewers (yes there probably will be more than one!)
  • Thank them for seeing you and shake hands if appropriate.
  • Gather your bits and pieces tidily.
  • When it’s all done, do something nice for yourself!
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