Interview? Relax – Just Tell Your StoryPosted: 16th of July 2015 by
If you are applying for a job or an apprenticeship, in most cases, you will have to go to at least one interview before you are accepted for the role. It is a chance for the employer to meet you, ask a few more questions based on your application, and give you the chance to ask some questions of your own. While it all sounds friendly enough, there is something about interviews that cause concern. Perhaps it is the pressure of getting dressed up to go and be quizzed by people you don’t know about why they should employ you over the other applicants! However, you can get through it, and actually enjoy your interview (OK, almost), if you rethink how an interview works.
Firstly, try to see the interview as a slightly equal affair whereby you are checking out the employer to see if you would like to work for them. This can help lower the feelings that you are under the spotlight and being assessed. It offers you a little feeling of being in control – like you have the choice of turning the job down (even if, in reality, you don’t). This slight shift of perspective should help you relax – besides, you should have done your homework and know a little bit about the company you applied to, the job itself, and also have a few questions that you’d like to ask.
If not, make sure to do these preparations, as well as reading over your application and C.V.
You should also let the fact that you look good in your sharply-pressed outfit give you confidence to sit up straighter rather than trying to disappear behind the interviewer’s desk.
So, looking good and fully prepared, you are ready to face the interviewer’s questions. The thought of being questioned can be nerve-wracking, but this isn’t like taking a test. In fact, all the questions will be about something that you should be an expert in… you!
The interviewer will be asking you about your C.V., why you want the job and, perhaps trickiest of all, how you might deal with certain situations. You can deal with these questions by just telling your story. Before you go to the interview have a think about some incidents from your past where you showed skills or achieved things that will impress your potential employer. They have to be in line with the job yu are going for, so managing to jump a bike off a ramp when you were ten might not count!
Instead, think of key strengths that will help in the job, such as team-work, leadership, or problem-solving, and then examples of when you showed those skills. These are the stories that you can tell about yourself at the interview, but rather than just demonstrating the situation and what you did, finish by revealing the outcome. Try t think of four or five different stories. You might not need them all, but it is better to be prepared.
Keep the stories short, and don’t ramble. Remember, it’s:
Situation – What You Did – The Positive Outcome
Try to relax as you tell your story. Stay professional, but don’t be afraid to change your tone and the pace of your voice to suit the story. If you are unsure how you might do that, try practicing telling your story out loud to yourself – when nobody else is around, of course!
Don’t over-practice your stories – they don’t want to sound rehearsed – but instead just allow yourself to get to the point where you feel relaxed and self-assured telling them. That way, during the interview, rather than feeling pressured to answer, you will feel calm and prepared, knowing what you want to say. Be honest, open, and friendly – without being over-familiar. On your best behaviour, in other words.
So, there it is. Be prepared, make sure you look good, and then relax and tell your story while you decide if the work-place is right for you. That sounds much nicer than being interrogated, doesn’t it?
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