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Job application and interview tips

There could be many processes before securing a job - online assessment, interview, group assessment and so on. Each one of them is significant for the outcome, but most people would find the interview most challenging. Here are some tips for before the interview, during the interview and after the interview.

Before the interview, it is crucial to research the company you are applying to. Reading and understanding the background, the strategy, the company culture is significant to show that you have attached great importance to the company. The interviewers might set questions regarding the facts of the company directly to test how much you know and care about this position. This is also a great foundational resource for inspiring some questions you could raise at the end of the interview.

Besides the benefit of answering and questioning the facts about the company, it is also the most straightforward way to know what employability skills the company is looking for. The company culture, strength statement in the introduction indicates the ability, personality they value, which are the traits you need to demonstrate during the interview. For example, if the company emphasises how much they care about people, and with evidence of the award of Invest in People, they would likely wish to hire people who are willing to learn and develop, and are open to opportunities and training. Also, the ability to communicate with colleagues, the interpersonal skill would be valuable to exhibit. It is also great if you could gather a list of potential questions the interviewer might ask in preparing, which could be found online, and make a brief answer to each one as a guide and structure. For these questions that have a high chance of being asked, like “introduce yourself”, “why did you choose to apply to our company?” and “what makes you stand out?”, it would be beneficial if you could practice answering these questions as a rehearsal. You can review your behaviour by video-recording your answer and practicing as many times as possible until you feel the confidence, clear logic from your voice and body language.

During the interview, it is time to show how much you have prepared for securing the position. I understand that some candidates write their interview answers on a paper or document and read the matched answers out when the interviewer asks. I would suggest not to do this as it is so obvious if you are reading instead of answering, and this method tends to make the candidates even more stressed and less able to speak clearly. It would be better if you emphasize more on the interaction between the interviewer like a normal but more formal conversation. Certain smiles and body language could not only show your confidence but could also release your stress. Being able to answer all questions clearly and logically is the marking criteria for your interview, but it is also significant to show your personality not just by saying but also by behaving, especially if there is an interviewer who would react. It is always the personality they are looking at in the first place, because they are hiring someone who would work with them for a long period, instead of a client where only value and profit may be considered. For example, humour would be an attractive personality, if you could make a proper joke during the interview, the interviewer would remember the person who made him laugh instead of all other “boring” answer machines. Making a joke is high risk and high reward action, it is better not to do a joke if you cannot manage it appropriately. Other personalities like creativity and being easy-going could also be shown depending on your situation.

There would generally be feedback available for your behaviour after the interview. These are constructive no matter if you successfully secured the job or not. It is essential to be able to learn, and it is especially beneficial as the feedback is from a professional interview. Reading, understanding and improving in regard, you could secure your dream job without a doubt.