Your cv (curriculum vitae or course of life) is often your entry ticket to an interview. It should be clear, concise, accurate, well presented and perfect in terms of spelling and grammar. And you send it out in response to any job that looks as if it’s within your capabilities.
Finally - the moment you’ve been waiting for. You get the long-awaited call to interview.
What shall I wear? What questions will they ask? How can I prepare?
Recently, Year 11 students from Aotea College in conjunction with Partners Porirua and members of The Rotary Club of Plimmerton undertook “mock” job interviews. For many students it was their first interview experience.
This was an opportunity for the students to introduce themselves to someone unknown to them outside the school environment and share a bit about their interests, their hopes, etc. About 100 students participated over the two days. The interviews supplemented the term’s curriculum work where students have been identifying their strengths, personal qualities, work values, areas of interest and ideas about future career opportunities.
The ‘mock’ interviews went well and both students and ‘interviewers’ reported that it was a very positive experience.
So, if you’re called to an interview, here are some things that are worth thinking about as you prepare.
- Arrive in good time. It’s better for you to wait than to keep the interviewer waiting.
- You make your first impression in a matter of seconds and it’s your only chance.
- Think about how you ‘look’ in the eyes of the interviewer (not in the eyes of your mates). How are you dressed? Is your hair tidy and are your nails clean? Have you left your ‘clutter’ with the receptionist (backpack, drink bottle, electronic gadgets)? Is your mobile turned off?
- Make your handshake firm and deliberate.
- Look your interviewer in the eye and look confident (even if you’re nervous). Nerves can actually enhance your performance.
- Communicate well and elaborate fully. It’s hard to interview someone who answers ‘yes’ or ‘no’ alone.
- Be prepared to ask questions as well as answer them.
- Avoid colloquial speech and slang such as ‘yep’, ‘wanna’ ‘gonna’ etc., and overuse of ‘like’ as an unnecessary addition, e.g. ‘it was, like, amazing’.
- Be prepared to share your talents and things that you do well and give examples, e.g. ‘I’m a good leader and, in fact, I’m captain of the rugby team’.
- Talk about your hobbies and what you’re involved in that show you get on well with people.
Good luck with your interview!