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What is an interview?

For many job-seekers, the interview is the most dreaded hurdle in their search for a career.

It can feel as though everything is riding on that one moment; that the interview is the test which will make or break your job hunt. For the majority of interviewees this will result in sweaty palms, wobbly knees and fluttering stomachs. We’re here to show you how to handle the hot seat and succeed in your interview. 

Put it into perspective

A lot of the time, the key to interview success is to put things into perspective. It is important to remember what interviews are, and why employers use them.

To put it simply, an interview gives a prospective employer the chance to see if you are as good as you sound on paper and ultimately decide if they want to hire you. But it is also just as useful for you, in that it gives you a chance to get a better feel of the company and role, and decide if you are suited.  Remember, both parties want to make the right choice, so use this to your advantage. An employer will only invite you to speak to them if they see potential in your application, so they already think you have the skills and potential for the role. An interview gives you the chance to prove them right.

What are employers looking for?

Generally speaking, an employer will use an interview to look for three basic things:

  •  Someone who has the skills to do the job.
  •  Someone who has the interest and motivation to do the job.
  •  Someone who will fit into the company.

What can you show them?

Far from being a scary interrogation, interviews are actually a great opportunity to big yourself up. You get to talk about:

  •  Your skills.
  •  Your experiences.
  •  What you can bring to the company.

What if it goes badly?

If an interview goes badly for you, it means it has also gone badly for your interviewer. Whilst you’ve failed to get the job, they’ve failed to fill a vacancy.

This is often down to nerves, so write it off as experience and learn from it. Call and ask for feedback, and when you prepare for the next interview, try to improve on those things. If you struggled to come up with answers, practice what you’ll say for common questions. If you struggled with breathlessness and panic, try to find ways to keep yourself calm. Your confidence will grow once you’ve had a few, so don’t be disheartened. 

In short, the interviewer wants to hire you, but it’s down to you to convince them that you’re the best candidate for the job. That will come with confidence, preparation and practise.