First of all, if you’ve been shortlisted for interviews, Congratulations! Making it to the interview stage means you’ve already made a good impression on your potential future employer(s).
1. Positive Attitude
‘Be positive, patient and persistent.’
We are far too often our own harshest critics and this is not the mindset to enter your interview with. If you’ve got the interview, you’ve already impressed! You’ll be just as intelligent and capable as everyone else on the interview list, all you’ve got to do is prove it. Employers are looking for candidates who not only fit the competencies required but also a personality that fits the company culture. Greet your interviewers with a smile, be friendly and relax in the knowledge that good interviewers only want to bring out the best in you.
2. Self Awareness
Tell me about yourself…
What motivates/inspires you?
What are your greatest strengths/weaknesses?
You are the topic of this interview. You must be prepared to talk about yourself. You are absolutely guaranteed to be asked a question or two about yourself, so no excuses not to prepare. Don’t undersell yourself or your achievements. Practise with friends or make an appointment with us in the UCD Career Development Centre to perfect your answers. Also, be sure to know your own CV/application inside out, you could get asked about anything that’s in there.
3. STAR Technique
The STAR technique is a widely used approach to answering competency based questions in a clear and effective manner. The ‘STAR’ approach to structuring your answers: Situation (set the scene), Task (what you set out to achieve), Action (what YOU did to achieve it), Result (the outcome). When discussing work experience, focus on your own contribution and what you’ve achieved rather than just listing the tasks required.
4. Know the Organisation & Job Description
Do your research. What will be expected of you in this role? Do you know anyone already working in the organisation that you could reach out to? Has the organisation been in the news recently or had any interesting developments? Additionally, if you know who will sit on the panel, do your research on their roles and backgrounds also.
5. Take Notes
Every interview is a learning experience. As soon as possible after the interview, it’s a good idea to take note of the questions you were asked and your thoughts on the experience. These could come in really handy if you get called back for a second interview or for other interviews in the future!
‘Fail to prepare, Prepare to fail’. You’ve already gotten the opportunity to interview, so you don’t want to let yourself down by failing to prepare.
Take some confidence from the fact that you’ve been asked to interview. The interviewer already believes that you can do the job. You’ve just got to believe in yourself and most importantly, BE YOURSELF.