As part of our process we like to ensure that all of our candidates are well prepared for everything that is needed, as such we have compiled a list of resources below.
Going for your dream job? Are you extremely nervous? Need to find ways to stay calm? Here are 5 ways to keep yourself level headed and equipped to smash that job interview.
It’s an obvious rule in this day and age to know enough about the company who will be interviewing you. You should read over the job ad and research who they are and what they value so that you can show the right type of interest, passion and curiosity during the interview process. However, there are more ways to be prepared.
After the standard research, read your own resume, understand what they already know about you and imagine what questions they might ask based on what you have given them. Sometimes, there are projects or events that have happened more recently than your last CV update that could serve as a better example of what you are capable of.
After all that mental preparation, think about the physical aspects too! Present yourself well. Not only will this make you feel more confident, but it instantly shows the interviewer that you are professional. Make sure you know where you are going and leave plenty of time to get there. Punctuality is important throughout an entire career, starting without it may raise questions about how much you value other people’s time. You don’t want that! Not to mention that running late will cause high stress and heart rate which never helps in an interview situation. Speaking about heart rate, it’s wise to avoid coffee too. Simply take some deep breaths to keep your body as calm as your mind.
Mindfulness could technically be part of preparing yourself, however, the difference it can make is so important it deserves its own section. Not everyone feels that meditation will work for them. But mindfulness isn’t a typical type of meditation. Mindfulness is about thinking carefully before you act or in this case, respond. It’s about being aware and not letting yourself run on autopilot. Don’t just listen for recognisable words and questions that you practiced with. Really think about the question at the moment and answer it appropriately. By thinking mindfully, you can prevent talking too fast as well. Practice short sessions of mindfulness meditation in the days leading up to the interview. It could be lying down in bed, it could be sitting ten minutes in the car before you head off for the day or even just standing in the shower.
Here is a TedX talk by Dr Joe Dispenzer about what mindfulness is and what it can do (yes, even just practicing 10 minutes a day!)
It’s not just about how much the company will like you; you also should be comfortable with the company suiting your needs and desires. Remembering this will ease the imbalance between interviewer and interviewee. Often, we shake in our boots being afraid of judgement, we think that if we don’t impress this one person, we might not impress anyone! But that’s never the case. Don’t be afraid of not getting the job, there are other jobs in the world and a thousand reasons why we aren’t always the successful candidate. When you remove the fear of failure you can focus more on being a strong individual equal to that of the interviewer and the process will become less convoluted and evoke more natural conversation.
Be comfortable to be yourself
You’re not only selling what you can do but who you are! They’ll want to see if they can work with someone like you, and as we said above, you’ll want to know if you can work with them. Whilst being professional and polite is a must, you should also be yourself. If you’re a joker, make some jokes. Sometimes, if you categorize yourself as shy and quiet, ‘being yourself’ in an interview can seem tricky. The best cure for this is spending time leading up to the interview with people you are completely comfortable around. Perhaps some friends or family who raise you up and love you. This will boost your confidence and assist you to come out of your shell.
If you have a ritual, a little superstitious action, do it
Even if you don’t! Start one. Sometimes having a special mantra or eating a banana or shaking your tic tac pack three times can give you some self-assurance. Mostly it will boost the belief that you have luck on your side, which can never hurt! Though keep in mind… after following the first 4 steps you won’t need luck, I’m sure you’ll find you’re pretty awesome all on your own.
If you have any personal tips and tricks that you use to ease interview nerves comment below and let us and others know! For new and exciting opportunities to use your interview skills check out Aspirante’s job search page!
No one loves going through the process of a job interview, it's not just meeting a new person. It's an important moment for many people which can bring up some anxiety. We understand that. So to help you through the process here are a few job interview tips.
You should aim to arrive 10-15 minutes before your interview starts. It may seem annoying to wait around but it's much more annoying to make a bad impression and feel flustered before even shaking your interviewer's hand.
Pay attention to your personal grooming and dress appropriately for the company (research this before your interview).
First impressions matter
Be friendly and vibrant. Even if you're nervous I know you can manage a smile and some interesting small talk. But it's not all in the talk and the smile. Give a firm handshake, maintain eye contact and importantly have positive and interested body language.
Be comfortable to talk about yourself
At the beginning of an interview be ready to discuss some of your interests and experiences (most often those outside of work) as an icebreaker.
Know what you are talking about
Demonstrate to the interviewer that you have a good understanding of the industry, the company, and the role by adding information you have learned from research to your answers and by asking informed questions of your interviewer.
Prepare for the job interview
This is your chance to show the interviewer that you are interested in not just the role, but how the company will be a great fit as well. Prepare specific questions about the role and company that you wish to ask. Going through a list of behavioural interview questions beforehand will help mentally prepare for the type of interview questions you are likely to be asked.
Relate questions to your experience
When answering questions, use practical examples from past experiences that demonstrate you have the skills and personality traits for the job.
Take your time before answering questions, although not too much time.
Don't rush your responses
Listen carefully to questions, if you don’t understand a question, or did not hear it properly, ask for clarification. Always be sure to connect your skills and experience to the needs of the employer.
Don't be afraid to ask questions about the role and the company. This shows the interviewer that you have prepared and done some research into the company and the position and it is a great way to learn about the company culture. It also shows you're interested and serious about being there. Sometimes thinking of questions can be the tricky part but there are plenty of ideas on our questions to ask during your interview page.
Keep positive throughout – even if the interview seems a disaster.
Time to shine
You know you're the right fit, so show them why! Sell yourself. Your resume has got you this far, but you now need to communicate why you are the right person for the job.
Don't get sloppy
Sometimes an interviewer can be so warm and friendly that they put you at ease. This is awesome, but don’t be too informal, they're still interested in making sure you're the right person.
At the end
Always thank them for their time and let them know that you are interested in the role. And don’t forget to call your Aspirante Expert after your interview to provide detailed feedback 😊
We hope that the above tips will help you crush your next interview process. Good luck!
Before your interview, we always advise preparing a list of questions you / we think are likely to be asked.
This way you can really place some thought around the best response and how you want to answer!
Don’t just memorise your answers... answer them first, it will pay off in the interview!
Behavioural interview questions
Commonly used by companies and hiring managers alike so you should be prepared to demonstrate your expertise by providing examples of your work and demonstrate how you achieved the outcomes listed on your resume.
Common job interview questions
These can vary depending on the position or the company but there are a lot of frequently asked questions you are likely to come across. For example, what are your strengths and weaknesses? Or how much do you know about our company, products, and services?
There are 'what' and 'how' questions that are straightforward and to the point. Then there are 'why' and 'tell me' questions which prompt more of a story from you. 'Have you ever' questions are designed to see how
- What challenges and opportunities do you think the company faces?
- What does success look like in yrs 1/2/3 for the me if I’m successful?
- What new skills are you looking to develop this year?
- What did you like best and least in your last position?
- What were your objectives for last year at your previous employer? Did you achieve them?
- What about this job do you find exciting?
- What value will you bring to the position?
- What motivates you to deliver your greatest effort?
- What qualifications and experiences do you have?
- What do you like to do in your spare time (reading/gaming/learning/Sport/Family/cooking/business conferences etc?)
- What was the hardest decision you have ever had to make?
- In what kind of a work environment are you most comfortable?
- What was the biggest challenge you ever faced?
- What are the most important requirements to you in a job?
- Where do you see yourself in 3/5years, what are your long-term career goals?
- What is your greatest weakness?
- What is your greatest strengths?
- What would your previous colleagues say about you?
- How do you see this position assisting you in achieving your career goals?
- How well do you work within a team? Do you prefer more autonomy?
- How well do you handle rejection?
- How well do you receive feedback?
- Are you a fast learner? How long will it take you to begin adding value?
- Why do you want to work for us?
- Why would you be a good fit for us?
- Why do you think you would like working for us?
- Why should we hire you?
'Tell me' questions
- Tell me about an important decision you had to make… what was your thought process?
- Tell me about a time when you took a risk at your previous employer… what was the situation, what did you do, how was it received?
- Tell me about a the teams you have worked in, what was your role, what did the team do, how did you fit in?
- Tell me a time when you planned and arranged a large project or event? What steps did you take, who was involved, what was the outcome?
- Tell me about a time when you demonstrated leadership and initiative?
- Tell me about a time that you made an error at work? How did you go about rectifying it? What did you learn from the mistake?
'Have you ever' questions
- Have you ever been in a situation where you disagreed with your manager? How did you resolve the disagreement?
- Have you ever had to work with a person you didn’t get along with? How did you handle the problem?
- Have you ever been in a difficult situation when you needed to remain positive? How did you handle it?
- Have you ever worked in a situation when there was no processes or procedures in place?
- Have you ever had to learn a skill and then apply it immediately?
Your resume is the first thing a potential employer will see from you.
Make sure you take time planning and thinking about your resume, which is not just an overview of your technical skills but should also demonstrate your written, communication and organisational skills.
Your resume can make you stand out from the crowd and persuade the employer to move your application onto the next stage.
Remember, there may be many people applying for the same job. So why should an employer shortlist you above others?
Firstly, the job of going through resume's is difficult, so think about making the selection process easier for the person on the other side!
First things first
- Before you even update your resume. Start with a cover letter! Cater it to the company and the position.
- Make sure your resume is easy to read, concise and to the point.
- Stick to short sentences and keywords.
- Use white space in your resume. It’s easier to digest and looks better than a cluttered resume!
- Use a font that is easily legible – take extra pages if needed to explain your relevant experience.
Secondly, once they're looking and intrigued about how beautifully you've set up your resume, make sure the information is relevant.
- Address each selection criteria listed in the job advertisement and make sure these are also listed in the body of your resume.
- List your outcomes and achievements – not just your daily activity.
- Always quantify your past achievements and experiences.
- Focus on what you can do for the employer, include specific examples.
Thirdly, double check everything!
- Make sure spelling, dates of employment and tenses are correct.
- Read and re-read: spell check won't pick up on all errors, punctuation or misused words.
- Make sure things are specific and keeping to the point. Does all the information sell you and your skills?
Start thinking about referees early?
If you have referees lined up and ready to go, this could be a decider whether you get the role before your final interview, you should have three to four referees available that you can rotate if you are interviewing for multiple roles, this will save the same person receiving multiple calls.
Your referees should be people who can provide detailed responses on how well you performed your tasks and responsibilities, they should be someone you actually reported to and of course, make sure they know you are using them!
Keep in contact with your referees, especially when you are actively seeking a new role as it is likely that someone will call them and ask about you.