Do you struggle with job interviews? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Here, Lux Group People and Culture Manager Amanda shares her wealth of knowledge and countless experiences to help you land your dream job…
Interviews can feel like first dates. You try on all sorts of outfits, practice you’re opening lines, and hope that when you meet, they like you enough to either invite you back or sign that contract!
If you have interviewed a few times, you’ve probably found yourself practicing potential answers to questions, only to be caught off guard by a question you hadn’t predicted, in the interview. And that brings me to the first tip…
#1. Remember situations, don’t rehearse answers
Yes, in interviews you are likely to be asked “tell me about a time when….” or “do you have an example of how you used this skill” so it’s important to have some key examples that demonstrate your skills and experience but don’t confuse this with rehearsing answers to questions you’re assuming you’ll get asked. This is bound to leave you feeling stumped.
Think back to your relevant roles and keep in mind some great experiences where you can authentically tell the story. What was the name of the customer? What was the situation, your thought process and actions and the result? What did you learn or what would you do differently next time? It’s more than likely that your great experiences will tick off a number of skills, so don’t be so worried about pairing these with questions you think you’ll get asked. Just remember some great experiences that made you grow and develop!
#2. Be Authentic
As someone who has interviewed hundreds of people, there is nothing more off putting than someone telling me something they think I want to hear.
Be yourself. Everyone tells you “think” before going into an interview but you’ll be surprised as to how many people leave themselves at the door. When you are authentic and honest, you do your best. No one can fault you for being yourself. No-one is ever 100% matched to the role they’re applying for, and we as recruiters and managers know this. We will give you the skills and development you need in your role, so there’s no point pretending you know everything. Bring yourself, show us who you really are, and chances are we will respect you for it.
#3. Don’t rush your answers. Listen. Pause, then answer
It’s not a race. Of course, we don’t want to be there for hours, but take your time. Be considerate in the responses you give as this is your chance to show us how you think, respond and act.
Linking back to the first two tips, if you’ve already rehearsed your answers and tell me something you think I want to hear, you’re unlikely to be able to listen to the real question and give an honest answer.
Questions like ”What do you want out of your next role?” or ”What would your previous team say is your biggest strength?” need to be considered, and there’s nothing wrong with pausing and saying, “That’s a great question, and I want to give you a considered answer, so let me have a little think.”
An interview is a glimpse into what the working relationship could be like. Rushing and not properly listening to a question symbolizes that you may have issues taking direction, being too impulsive in your decision making, and these are alarm bells for managers.
#4. Don’t make it all about work
We are likely to ask you what you like doing outside of work. Show us your personality, appropriately of course!
Do you have hobbies? What are you passionate about? Who are we going to be investing in? If you’re applying for a Customer Service role, and you get asked, “what are you passionate about?” try to think of something other than, “customer service”. We want to know that you have a work/life balance, that you’re bringing diversity to our existing team. The likelihood is, we’re going to be spending a lot of time together so we want to know who you are!
#5. Have a question to ask in your interview and tailor it to the right person
Make this one count. The questions you ask show how you prepared for the interview, what research you’ve done, and what’s important to you. Do NOT ask about money in your first interview. Think about questions like, “What do you love about coming to work every day?” or “What’s the next step for this company?”. Get more specific by asking, “What would success look like for me in this role in the first 6 months?”.
Tailor your question to the right person. If you’re with the GM, ask a question about future planning or strategy, don’t ask this to the office manager.
#6. Smile and make eye contact
Interviews should be exciting! We’ve seen something in your application that’s intrigued us and now we want to meet with you. Enjoy it, be natural, have a laugh, show your confidence in being the right person for the role. Eye contact and a smile, symbolizes that you are comfortable, relaxed and confident in your abilities to be part of our team.
Ready to interview with us? Check out all the current roles at Lux Group here.