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Interview Tips: 5 Things I Wish I'd Known Earlier - Article by Penny Wallace

Interviewing can be a daunting process no matter where you are in your career. So many of us walk out of interviews kicking ourselves, wishing we’d of said this or not said that.

So I’ve decided to put together a list of things I wish I’d of known earlier.

1.Selling yourself isn’t a sign of arrogance, it’s a sign of confidence in

your own ability.

So many people struggle with selling themselves in an interview in the fear that they will be perceived as arrogant or obnoxious. Myself being one of them.

BUT that is the sole purpose of an interview, to determine your ability and fit for a role. If you don’t shout about your achievements and the value you can bring into a role, who will? And how will the interviewer know?

Rave about your success, if you’re not confident in your own ability don’t expect others to be.

2. When asked about your weaknesses, flipping a positive to a negative is not the answer.

I myself am guilty of this! What an odd question to ask someone, why focus on your weaknesses when you can focus on your strengths and achievements? But this is a great question.

It shows the interviewer that you are aware of the areas where you fall down and you are making a conscious effort to improve these.

3. Don’t Assume.

Just because the recruiter has read your CV doesn’t mean they know everything about your role, don’t assume they know what you do.

Titles and responsibilities can vary from company to company, don’t be vague with your answers, be precise but give enough detail that they understand what you do, why you do it and the value you can add.

 

Because we all know what happens when we assume…

4. Research the company

You might think this is very basic but it’s something that will catch you out if you don’t do thorough research and something that may cost you your dream role.

A lot of people think researching the company at the start of the interview process is enough – it’s not!

I would highly recommend researching throughout, not just the specific company but also the sector they operate in as well. In this day and age employers are looking for pro-active individuals, who care about not only their own personal progression but also the progression of the business and current events.

You may be interviewing for a company who are going through a period of change, they might be in the news, if you stay on top of this and refer to this in your interview, I promise your interviewer will be impressed.

5. Ask Questions

A lot of people don’t feel comfortable doing this, some people just completely forget and then proceed to kick themselves the whole way home.

Think about this before your interview, write down a few questions so you’re prepared for this one. Typically good questions are “what is the company culture like?” or “What do you enjoy about working here?” or “What are the potential challenges in this role?”

Or do one better and have a look at current industry/company news, is there anything you can see effecting this position? If so ASK about it.

Not having any questions may come across as though you aren’t interested in learning more about the company.

They may have already answered your questions, in which case don’t repeat these as it may show a lack of attention to detail.

However, if you have your questions written down and look over them at the end, even if they have answered everything, at least they know you were prepared.

 

Connect with Penny on LinkedIn and Twitter

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