5 Interview Tips for Students
Sometimes, job interviews can be a little intimidating. We may wish that they went a little something like this:
But that's not necessarily the case. It's important to put your best foot forward and demonstrate your value to the recruiter. We at WOSOC have brainstormed our five best interview tips, so that YOU can feel confident and capable in any interview. Whether it's your first or fiftieth; interviews are always a good learning experience, no matter the outcome!
1. Do your research before the interview Find out more about the organisation that you're applying for, the industry in which they operate and the actual job description. This will help you to understand their services and values, as well as how you may fit into the organisational culture. By weaving this research into your interview, you can demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role. 2. Understand your personal brand Knowing your "personal brand" doesn't mean reducing your personality and skills into a small, static box. It's simply a way for you to understand your core values, know your strengths and weaknesses, and allows you to be mindful of what you want out of a career, or life more broadly. By developing your personal brand over time, you can feel more comfortable in your individuality and the value you may bring to an organisation. It can also help you to answer interview questions, like the dreaded "tell me about yourself". We suggest that you introduce yourself and your studies, explain why you’re interested in your studies and what you are passionate about, briefly outline relevant past experience and soft skills, and identify your preferred work style. This will set the tone for the rest of the interview. 3. Practice or rehearse your responses Preparation for situational and behavioural questions will likely make you feel more confident in a job interview. Providing quantifiable responses is really important here, so that you can highlight your personal impact. Using the trusty STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) is a great start! Of course, it's important not to memorise exact answers. It may come across as inauthentic to the interviewer, and you may miss the point of the question that THEY are asking (because you're too busy answering the specific question that you prepared an answer for). 4. Make it personal: ask the recruiter about themselves It's the end of the interview. You smashed it. The recruiter asks, "Do you have any questions for me?" Your mind goes blank... "What should I ask?" Ask the interviewer about themselves! People love sharing their own experiences, and will appreciate you showing interest in their career. It can also help you stand out from the crowd. We suggest questions like:
"What has your career journey been like within the company?"
"What does a typical work day look like?"
5. BONUS: Nailing a video job interview
In light of COVID-19, video job interviews are increasing in prevalence. As I'm sure you're aware from your many Zoom tutorials, it can be difficult to build the same level of rapport online. But, there are some extra steps you can take to ensure you're still making a good (virtual) impression.
It's always a good idea to minimise the risk of any technical issues, and make sure your Internet is working. Dress presentably, as though you were doing an in-person interview, and do your best to engage. Good posture will help with this (and make you feel more confident), as well as using hand gestures so that you don't look frozen or uncomfortable. With eye contact, look at the interviewer on the screen rather than directly into your camera, as this can look a little intense. For even more interview tips, check out the University's Careers Centre!
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