Getting through a job interview unscathed is a tricky task, especially when up against a high-profile company or a strict recruiter. While making a lasting and positive first impression can make or break your interview within seconds of arriving, the art of leaving a good impression has been dwindling among new recruits, and we have come up with our very own PA Life interview survival guide.
While Shakespeare advised “better three hours too soon than a minute too late,” you don’t need to go quite so overboard. Give yourself room to breathe; a few minutes to reflect and compose before being called in will help you get mentally ready and appear less rushed. Getting to the office late and fresh from the weather outside will make you look frantic, panicked, and worst of all disorganised. While smart questions and a friendly personality can help disarm the interviewer, the first impression has already been made and the damage could very well be done.
It doesn’t hurt to prepare yourself for the worst. Anticipating the toughest questions and getting yourself ready for the harshest criticism will help ensure that you give the recruiter nothing to criticise. Dress to kill, know the job role and step into the office expecting the worst and knowing that no matter what happens, you can face it head-on. This doesn’t just apply for face-to-face, however, so try not to let your guard down just because you aren’t in the office.
Fit the role
Applying for a job you don’t think you’re capable of isn’t necessarily a bad thing if your experience is there. When researching the role you could surprise yourself and prove to be the right choice after all. The danger is in deception; don’t apply for a job on fake experience and misinformation. Ignore the phrase ‘everybody lies on their CV’, because if a company hires you on the understanding that you have experience you simply can’t deliver on, you’ll lose credibility, you’ll waste time best spent elsewhere and the company won’t be pleased with the money wasted.
It’s important to remember that, should the interview go well, you’ll be spending a lot of time with this team, so you shouldn’t pretend to be someone you aren’t. Let your own personality come through during the interview, it will make the time you spend with the recruiter more relaxed and you’ll leave a more lasting impression; instead of just being another recruit, being more personable and relatable will help keep you in the recruiter’s mind when it comes to making a hiring decision.