You have spent so much time looking for jobs. Part-time, full-time, summer, seasonal jobs. You have sat for hours, toiling over your CV and application forms; convincing someone you've never met and probably never will, that you deserve the chance to work for their company. Then with delight, an email arrives offering you an interview, and you feel a little of your faith being restored!
It is at this point that we begin to feel genuine fear- if the person behind this email thinks we're good enough for an interview, then we need to make sure we're good enough in the interview, to go the distance and get the job. However in most cases where students are looking for part-time work, an interview is where the trail runs cold, and even more application forms are the only thing left to soften the fall back down. This doesn't mean that you should become disheartened and give up though! The one thing people forget about interviews is that whether you get the job or not, you're still learning how to cope under pressure and how to answer specific questions. Interviews provide a special kind of experience that will benefit a person for the rest of their life!
I have recently been applying for part-time and/or summer jobs, and got the brilliant news a few days ago, that I had got a place working at a nine-day festival in York. It was the most exciting looking placement I had applied for, and to top it off, possibly the best interview I have ever had too. Compiling my experience of interviews beforehand, and reviewing what I thought was best about each one, I managed to remind myself of several things before I went into this particular interview, and I think that helped a lot. Here's what I consider good interview technique! -< /span>
1. Set off early
You have no idea what traffic will be like, or parking, or if your directions are spot on, or if some horrible coincidence knocks ten minutes off your journey! Setting off early, not only allows you time to correct any little mistakes, but has you alert and prepared for what is coming. Plus, if you can show your (potential) boss that you have fantastic punctuality, then you're only making it easier for them to hire you!
2. Show those teeth
For goodness sake, smile. Nobody is going to want to hire someone that's acting like an angst-ridden 13 year old. A positive mindset and friendly attitude will show on the outside if that's what is on the inside.
3. Eyes in front, brain on fast-forward
Keeping eye contact, (but not staring in an unsettling manner) is a good representation of how confident and comfortable a person is. If you can put your interviewer at ease, as well as yourself, the whole episode will be much more enjoyable. It's also useful to try and think one step ahead; if you can guess the kind of questions that will be asked, then prep up some practice ones at home! By thinking before you speak, your words will come out as a neat collective, rather than a spattering of mindless chatter.
So next time you have an interview, don't be too concerned about what will happen after, but rather what is going on in that precise moment. Focus, calm and readiness will take you a long way.