How to Ace that Interview

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At one point or another, we’ll all have to do an interview. Whether you’re applying for a weekend job, graduate scheme, college or university, an interview is something you’ll have to master in order to earn your place. Filling out the application form is easy – but are you ready for the real test?

1 Do Your Research

Knowledge is power – the more you know about the company, the more prepared you’ll be. You can’t walk into an interview and know nothing about the position you’ve applied for. What if the interviewer asks you what you know about the organisation? That’s a sticky situation we’d all rather avoid. Ask around –
maybe your friends can enlighten you. If not, there’s no harm in a quick Google search. If you’ve applied to a global brand, there’s a good chance somebody has written online about their own experiences there. Try student-based websites like www.thestudentroom.co.uk too.

2 Practice Makes Perfect
The best way to prepare for an interview is to practise, preferably with someone who will tell you the truth. You need honest and thoughtful feedback in order to get better. Think of yourself as an actor, playing your part until it’s perfect. Go over every question you could be asked, but don’t remember your answers word for word – you don’t want to seem too rehearsed! The interviewer will be able to tell the difference between a genuine candidate and a fake one.

3 Individuality
Now it’s time for the tricky bit – the actual interview! Show the interviewer why you – and you alone – should get this position. What makes you different from other candidates? Perhaps you have a hidden talent, an extra qualification, or you’re more smartly dressed. Whatever it is, use it to your advantage. Interviewers are looking for someone who stands out; don’t be just another face in the crowd.

4 Confidence is Key
If you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect anyone else to? Even if you don’t feel confident, play the part. Throw your shoulders back and plaster on that smile. The interviewer will be wowed by your enthusiasm. If your application doesn’t stand out, then you’re dedication to the job will.

No interview is perfect – fact. You might not know the answer to a particular question, but instead of saying “I don’t know”, or worse – saying nothing at all – steer the conversation towards what you do know. Make the most of your assets. Of course the interviewer won’t be oblivious to your mistakes, but at least they’ll know you tried to fix them.

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