“I don’t feel confident in the interview!”
“What should I wear for tomorrow’s interview?”
“My first interview in my life! I’m very nervous”
“What should I say to the interviewer?”
“But I was good! What happened?”
Does any of this sound familiar?
Job hunting and interviewing is always a challenging event in people’s life. Many questions flow in your thoughts when you are looking for a job or participating in an interview. Especially for those who are not actually actively applying for a new job. Here are some easy tips to win your job hunt.
- Content of the resume and format of the resume
When applying for a new job, your job description in your resume should cover all major responsibilities and key achievements. Ensure that your resume reflects the job that you apply to. Sometimes you may want to amend it to be more relevant to each job that you apply for. When meeting with an agency, a good recruitment consultant should ask additional information from you. Don’t be alarmed. That information will help your profile stand out from the crowd. Give as much information to your agency as possible. They will decide what to pass on, what is suitable for this particular role.
For more technical functions, remember your resume may pass through some non-technical people, so don’t be too technical. Don’t go overboard on the technical aspects. Be concise. For some functions such as designer, advertising AE, creative, or architect, a creative resume format will be taken into consideration but not as important as your portfolio design. Portfolio must reflect to the company and the job you apply. Study the brand identity of the company you apply for and pick the right portfolio to present. Some brands are looking for mass production and some brands are looking for sensitivity and uniqueness.
- Find your partner
Job searching is a very personal thing. You should keep it as secret as you can. To win this mission, you may need a trusted partner, the partner who can provide you honest advice, suggestions to improve and assist you to prepare. They will coach you through the whole job hunting process from resume preparation, grooming, appearance, body language and interview preparation. Your partner can be your close friends, wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, a good recruitment consultant or anyone you trust. Of course, in this case, you cannot select anyone in your organization to be your job hunting partner, no matter how much you trust that person.
- Utilise your agency
Some job seekers are not familiar with interviewing, knowing how to prepare for the interview, a recruitment consultant can always support you for preparation tips. A professional head-hunter or a good recruitment consultant could be your good advisor. When you are in the recruitment process, you can ask for their advice and opinion. How you can improve your resume, your grooming, non-verbal language and even your interview answers. Meeting your headhunter in person will always help you to improve all these areas. They have good understanding about their client. Feel free to ask and utilise them. If they are not offering advice or guidance, or seeking more in-depth knowledge from you, be careful, you are putting your career in their hands. Are they really a good consultant? Never be afraid to walk away and find someone you trust.
- Know yourself
A quick review about yourself before showing up at the interview will help to improve your interview performance. Strengths and weakness are the most simple analysis to make before you participate in the interview. Real examples or situations to prove on each point will confirm your core strengths. For example, when mentioning about problem solving skills, provide a situation to demonstrate and prove this skill. Weaknesses are not something you should hide, as long as you know how to improve your weakness. Honest and genuine answer will always break the ice between the interviewer and yourself. Be natural and be yourself. The interviewer does not always look for the best, but they look for someone that matches their organization and their current business needs. Also, knowing what you want and what you like is the key for a successful interview. When people are talking about what they are passionate with, it draws your audience into your world, the world that you own your words, your wisdom, and your creation.
Be honest with yourself about your abilities and experience. Don’t oversell your capabilities, but at the same time don’t be too humble. You are there to sell yourself. This is your opportunity to convince the interviewer you can do this and you want to do this.
- Always be prepared
Get to know the company and the interview to show your interest in the company. Some perfect candidates failed in the job interview because they did not show interest and commitment to the company. Do your research. There was a candidate who was an average candidate in terms of their competency and their skills if compared with other candidates. He finally climbed on top of the rank due to the efforts he put in during the interview process. He lived very far from the location, but never hesitated to fly to the location and showed willingness to move. The interviewers were highly impressed with these efforts and finally offered him a job.
- Your very first seconds
Make the most of your first seconds to impress the interviewer and win their heart. People always judge from the first impression. No matter how hard we try not to, it is human nature. Be aware of how you appear and how you talk from the first moment you meet the interviewer. Handshakes, greeting, gestures, eye contact and appearances can tell something about you and your chemistry. If you went through a process with a recruitment consultant, you can consult them how to dress, how to impress the interviewer. Overdressed and over make-up can be a disaster for your interview. Underdressed and untidy can display disrespect and lack of interest.
- Listen and be concise
Analyse the purpose of questions quickly and answer in a short and concise way. Give some examples and real situations to clarify, but do not make it too long. Do not oversell yourself because the interviewer can clarify if the answer is realistic. I interviewed a salesperson who exaggerated her sales figures, which actually did not reflect on the commission and market growth. She lost credibility to me immediately, as what she was saying wasn’t exactly the truth. Don’t underestimate the knowledge your interviewer has. Speak the truth. Always avoid negative comments, negative feedback about others, especially your current or ex-employers and avoid emotions. Try to use facts and real case studies instead.
- Do not give up
Not getting the job does not mean failure. You always get something out of the interview. A new experience, meeting new people, learning from others. Practice make perfect. So keep going and meeting new people.
Feel free to contact me. I am happy to meet in person to offer further advice or help you with your next career step.
(Nina) Phinnipha Suriyong