What's that I hear you say? I seem particularly jolly today? Well, I should, because I, my little friends, have only gone and got myself my first job since graduating :) You are now looking at a blog written by Phones4U's most recent Recruitment Consultants, based in their head offices in Stoke-on-Trent! This job is only a three-month fixed contract which is exactly what I wanted because then I have the opportunity to try Recruitment out on this level and also the flexibility to move on after the three months if I want to. By the same token, if I really enjoy the position (as much as I think I will) there may be the opportunity for me to stay on or move to another department within Phones4U. Ideal right?
So I figured I'd write this blog post and I know it sounds like I'm saying, 'I AM FAB BECAUSE I GOT A JOB SO LISTEN TO WHAT I SAY'. As ever I respect that everyone is different, and every person must be true to themselves in a job interview type of environment. However, as someone who has had passed seven out of nine job interviews in my life already (and I'm only 21 years old) I feel like I must be doing something right, so I figured I'd let you all know what I think I've done right and where I've gone wrong... So here goes:
What to do at a job interview...
1) Be punctual and don't cancel. Without fail, you absolutely must be on time for a job interview. Even if this means showing up and hour or two early because you were over-prepared, it is better to be safe than sorry! If I was an employer and I'd set aside time out of my working day to give someone a work opportunity I would be very angry if that person arrived late or cancelled at the last minute. Showing up late or cancelling late is almost as if you're telling the employer that you think your time is more valuable than theirs. So make sure you arrive in the area of the interview well ahead of time and arrive at the interview location no more or less than five minutes early. If the interviewer is running late, be polite, tell them it is no problem and wait patiently. I know it sounds like it is one rule for one and another for another but at the end of the day they hold your next career move in the palm of their hand, so be nice! Basically, just make sure you're aware of all the details of the job interview, the time, the location, the interviewer's name, and be there a little before you are supposed to be!
2) Dress for the job you want, not the one you have... or are even interviewing for! What I mean by this is, it is better to over-dress in terms of formality for a job interview than appear slovenly and not very well put together. In March I went for a job interview to be an Estee Lauder beauty counter assistant which ended up being one of my unsuccessful interviews! However, I was immediately complemented by the interviewer on my classy, grey, knee-length shift dress (which I'd actually borrowed from my best friend and fellow blogger Vikki) and my makeup. I would expect so too considering the fact that I'd got up two hours early that morning to make a real effort with my appearance! Some people might think, you wore a suit-dress for a shop assistant interview? Yes, yes I did. And it was appreciated! For my Phones4U interview, although I had been told that the interview was to be relatively casual, I made a similar effort. Upon arrival, I found that I was ever-so-slightly over-dressed as the interviewers both wore cardigans rather than blazers and flat shoes. Having said that, I felt a lot more confident in a more formal outfit as it got me in the frame of mind for the interview and made me appear professional. I kept my makeup simple and soft, and I tied my hair back. This shows that my appearance, although important to me, will not act as any kind of distraction in the work place.
*This is what I wore to my Phones4U interview. This peplum dress was from Miss Selfridge and cost me £45. The shoes were from Nine West a couple of years back.*
3) Be yourself but with a slightly bigger smile. If you try to act like someone else, the employer will notice. Having said that, in a job interview, you are supposed to present the best 'You' you can, so slap on a smile, make good eye contact and exploit your best qualities. If you are trying to say that you can be a good listener, make sure you listen intently to the interviewer. If you want to put across that you are optimistic, then be positive, nod when required, start sentences with, 'Yes...' or 'Of course...' and don't be afraid to laugh! If you want the interviewer to see that you are good at communicating, give examples of the claims you make, anticipate their next question and speak clearly. Don't memorize answers for potential questions as such, but make a list of such questions and write a couple of bullet point responses beneath, just so that your responses flow comfortably but also have structure. It is all about showing the interview how brilliant you are!
4) Know the job and the brand you are applying for. When you get offered an interview, whether by phone or email, be sure to ask any questions you might want to know the answers to. For example, ask, 'How long might the interview last?', 'May I ask what the rate of pay is, just out of interest?, 'How many people is the company thinking of taking on?', 'How large is the team I would be working with if granted the position?', or 'What would my position be exactly within the brand?' etc. After you've done your initial asking, take to the internet and do your research! If you're going to be interviewed for a role as a Call Centre Sales Person, hunt for similar positions online and read the applicant specifications. Highlight words which appear repeatedly, such as 'confident', 'persuasive', 'friendly' and so on. Now you know some of the buzz-words to drop during you interview. Come up with examples of when you have proven yourself to fit into any of those categories. Then try looking in search engines for 'Call Centre Job Interview' or 'How To Pass An Interview To Become A Sales Person'. The results will give you more of an idea about questions which may arise and the general experience during the interview. Finally, you want to prove to the employer that you're not just looking to work in any old call centre... you want to work specifically in THEIR call centre. 'So, why would you like to work HERE?' is a question I've had in each and every interview, and even putting in a bit of Wikipedia time or checking articles on the brand on the Daily Mail website in order to find some information on the company will always score you brownie points. For example, when I was interviewing to work at Walt Disney World in Orlando last summer (an interview in which I was successful) I looked into the training process in depth and realized that the company places a lot of importance on customer service and satisfaction. So I exploited this in my interview, saying something along the lines of, 'I have a lot of respect for families, and knowing that they have potentially saved for years for a Disney vacation, I would be very pleased to work for a company which makes the customer experience worth every penny. I feel the Disney company strives to do that.'
5) Don't think all is said and done when the interview is over. Just because you're out of the firing line of an employer's inquisition, don't put your feet up and make a brew. Usually employers will ask, 'Do you have any questions for us?' and it is often beneficial if you have questions to ask because it makes it seem like you've really thought in depth about the position. In the past, I have asked, 'What is the composition of your training program?', 'Is the company socially active?' and 'How might someone at the level in which I will start progress to higher earning potential within this company?' Don't ask TOO many questions though, you can ask those when you get the job! After asking questions, stand up, smile, confidently shake hands with your future employer and thank them for the opportunity. Tell them you hope to hear from them soon and leave. The day after an interview I usually like to send an short sweet email to employers, to say thank you to them once again, tell them that you hope your potential came across in your interview, and that you are quite as passionate about the job now as you were before, if not, more. Once again state that you hope to hear from them soon and sign off, formally and politely with 'Sincerely' or 'Kind regards'.
The Two Interviews I Didn't Pass...
Michael Page International Recruitment Consultancy - In the September of 2010, I applied on a whim to an internship with this company and I was very surprised to get a phone call in December which soon became my telephone interview. I passed the impromptu telephone interview which lasted for about half and hour, at which point I was invited to London (with first-class train travel paid by the company) for a group interview. At the interview, I found that their were four of us interviewees and only one would be given the job. We were required to perform three different practical tasks, one alone, one in pairs, the third as a group. During the interview, I felt I was performing well. However, it was quite clear to me that one such young lady was doing much better than the rest of us. Naturally she got the job. Still to this day I believe I did well during the interview, especially as this was the first (and only) assessment day style interview I'd ever been to.
Estee Lauder - Back in March I applied to a job as a Beauty Counter Assistant for Estee Lauder (one of my favorite luxury beauty brands!) However, during the interview, it became clear that although the job I was interviewing for was only part time, the interviewer was looking for someone with more flexibility than my university degree (which I was studying for at the time) was going to offer. This was surprising as I was only required in university two days a week, so I had five full days available which is what most employers recruiting for full-time positions would expect. However, the interview went well and the interviewer seemed very keen on me applying for the job when I had graduated.
So there you go! Those are my top Pass-Your-Job-Interview tips and I hope you have the best of luck with all your future career-related endeavours.
What are your interview tips? Have you ever had a terrible job interview? What do you wear for an interview?
Love and kisses