Job Interview Advice for Junior Candidates
This was written with more junior candidates in mind but to be honest most people would benefit from a bit of a refresher, particularly if you’ve been in your current role for a while. So here’s some job interview advice and words of wisdom, to help you become the stand-out candidate and get that job!
First Impressions – make a favourable impression right from the start of the job interview. Look the interviewer in the eye, have a strong but not bonecrushing handshake (limp finger touching is a definite no-no). If you give the impression that you’re not sure if the job’s for you, then no matter what your feelings are after the meeting the chances are you will have blown it. So put yourself in the driving seat and knock their socks off, it’s so much better to be in a position to refuse a 2nd interview or offer than to kick yourself afterwards.
Research, research, research – it will make you feel more confident. You won’t find yourself worrying about what you might be asked or about having a blank moment if you prepare yourself by checking out the company first. There is so much information online now that interviewers rightly expect you to be able to answer the questions ‘what do you know about us / our market/our competitors/our clients?’
Use your friends and family – if you are worried about how you come across at the job interview, ask someone to role play with you – tell them they need to be honest though, this is not like the ‘does my bum look big in this?’ question!
Help! – if you are working with a recruiter ask if they provide any job interview training, some will – I recently had a candidate call in on her way to a meeting she was shaking with nerves when she got here but left feeling positive and reassured. If I say she got the job you won’t believe me, but she did! Ask them for advice and don’t let a question niggle at you, they may know the answer- if they’ve been to see the client or have had other interviews take place with them they should have plenty of insider information for you.
Be prepared – it sounds basic but make sure you know where you’re going and give yourself loads of time; getting lost, not being able to park, worrying about being late can make you so frazzled you never really settle into the interview. Do a dry run if you’re not familiar with the area.
Notes – If you like to take notes during a job interview, ask the interviewer if they mind, and don’t sit scribbling instead of interacting, no-one likes to interview the top of someone’s head! Best to keep your notebook as a prop if you can.
Questions – most interviewers will ask if you have any questions. Always prepare a few in advance relative to the role and company so that your mind doesn’t go completely blank, if you are using a notebook referring to them is ok. Don’t ask a question that they have already covered the answer to, as it will look as if you haven’t been listening. Don’t ask what the salary is or how many days holiday you will get – it looks mercenary. The best most relevant questions will depend on the role and your interview may have raised some genuine questions for you. The question ‘question’ tends to come at the end of the meeting so you want to leave them with a good impression. If you really can’t think of anything or you do go blank, a fall back will have to be a sincere ‘you have answered all the questions I had, thank you’, at least it’s better than ‘No’. Ideas for questions include training and progression opportunities, the company’s future plans etc. You can also of course ask about next steps / what happens next.
Interested? – there is nothing wrong with confirming your interest in the role / company at the end of your meeting, although if the thought of doing this gives you the shivers just smile, put out your hand and say I hope to see you again soon!!
Thanks! – If the interviewer has given you his / her business card a brief email thanking them for their time today and confirming your interest in the role is a great idea and clients often comment to us when this happens – don’t turn it into war and peace though.
Last but by no means least if you are working with a recruiter, call them when you come out. Any slip-ups, anything you’ve forgotten etc can all be relayed when they give the client your feedback. And make sure you call promptly as a keen client may call rather than waiting for feedback.
Good luck!! You can do it!!
If you’re still on the lookout for your ideal role, see some of our current vacancies here.