How to give a good job interview

Not Too Shabby is first an foremost a blog about getting value for money and making a little go further. We’re firmly of the ‘waste not, want not’ maxim. However, you aren’t going to get very far if you haven’t got an income – so this post is dedicated to helping graduates get their first job.

The UK has been left reeling after a series of crises have hit our economy – and as a result jobs are harder and harder to find, especially as graduates. When all and sundry has a good degree, the only thing that seperates you from months of unemployment all boils down to (in my humble opinion) how good or bad you are at the interview process. This is where you have to convice your interviewee that you are the right person for that role. I say this from the very fortunate position of 1) having a job and 2) never having a bad job interview (ever). Which doesn’t mean I’ve always got the jobs I’ve gone for, or loved the job when I got it, FYI!

Which brings me onto my first point:

If you’ve only ever been to a couple of job interviews, you won’t be very good at them. I promise. It is utterly weird having to talk about yourself to a group of strangers, and the only way you learn is to keep plugging away. I have worked ever since I was 15 – and although you can probably surmise from this that I didn’t have the most charmed existence growing up, I am glad that it taught me a great work ethic and has given me lots of practice at chatting nonsense about myself in a small room. Honestly, embrace the weirdness and keep trying – one day, even you will believe what you are saying!

I don’t consider a bad interview to be as simplistic as ‘I didn’t get the job’. A good job interview might be one in which you realise you couldn’t stand working for that company, and as a result you don’t feel to bad in answering completely honestly. Unless they are really desperate, they will pick up that you aren’t that keen – but it’s still an opportunity to network and practice for the job you really want. So don’t be a negative nancy and leave the room feeling down, even if you don’t succeed – if it truely is a job you didn’t

care for, you are better off out of it. Equally, a job interview in which you perform really well, and leave feeling really positive about – but you are outclassed by someone else, or underskilled, lets say – in my opinion still isn’t a

interview. You did really well, and you felt great – hold on to that feeling, because when you come for a job within your grasp, you’ll do great. Stay positive.

– but just a few more notes. You

to be comfortable. Although killer heels and super-tight blouse might seem ‘fierce’, just you wait until you’ve had a sweaty tube journey and a troublesome search for the correct interview door. It’s a recipe for a broken angle and big-ass sweat patches, and it really won’t make you feel good. Don’t do it.

People veer wildly from completely lying on their CV (you’ll get caught out eventually…) and being hideously modest. Modesty has no place in a job interview. Take what you have done and dress it up in the best possible light. For example, imagine a boring carrot – it’s pretty dull whilst boiled and chopped on a plate – but imagine it shredded and layered with chilli, fish sauce, peanuts and shrimp? Answer – delicious, spicy and interesting. Apply the same logic to your skills, and you’ll be right on track. Talk up your skills and display them in the best possible light.

Don’t babble. Take your time. Aim to answer questions within three sentences, and speak slowly. Take a couple of seconds to think before you speak – this will make you come across as considered and thoughtful; job qualities that are highly valued (unless you are a stunt car driver) Question that throws you? Politely ask for a couple of minutes to think of a good answer – say a holding statement like: “That’s a really interesting question. Let me think about how to answer that best.” Finally, if you truely don’t know, be honest and let them know. You can’t know everything after all, otherwise you’d be interviewing them!

Despite the fact most job interviews make people want to run away,

scarper the minute the door is opened. Smile warmly, shake hands and thank them for your interview. Say it’s been really enjoyable meeting them – flattery is

, even if they are the most dull people you’ve ever met. Finally, if you had any questions (except wage – best saved for later on) now is the time to ask!

If you’ve had a fantastic interview, they’ll let you know straight away – although this is very rare, so don’t expect it. Put it out of your mind – and hopefully you’ll get a positive call. If not,

to what they have to say. If you followed rules 1-5, this could stil be a

interview – take their suggestions and build on them for next time.

I hope these tips help you out if you are nervously awaiting a job interview. Please let me know how you get on in the comments – or if there is anything else you would like to add! x

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