Job interview preparation is something there isn’t really a subject for, whether this be at high school or through your university degree. You may well have achieved sterling marks in your A-Levels, and be on course for a similar result in your degree, but the chances are that you have received limited guidance when it comes to job interview preparation.
This is a life skill that some individuals struggle with throughout their careers, and can sometimes impact the excellent results you have achieved from an academic perspective.
Interview Preparation for Students
When it comes to job interview preparation, the key really is in that vital last word. Unless you are extremely good at winging things or just very lucky, you simply aren’t going to come across as you should if you don’t prepare.
This preparation applies to all aspects of you student job interview. The crucial things to think about are:
Your Interview Approach & Questions
If you sufficiently prepare each of these aspects, then as long as you have the qualifications and credentials to back you up, your interview should yield an excellent result.
It goes without saying that your appearance is absolutely vital. Depending on your interviewer, this is probably the first thing that will be noticed. You could potentially ruin your job interview straight away by not ensuring that you look the part.
Similarly, ensure you sparkle at your interview and you could get off on an excellent foot, which will calm your nerves and set the rest of your interview up superbly.
Prepare Your CV
Writing a great CV is something of an art and advice differs across the web on what makes a perfect one, you can find more information about that here. But in terms of preparation, it makes sense to spend at least a few hours making sure your document is completely up to date and suitable for the job you are applying for.
If this is one of your first interviews following your degree, or perhaps it is for an internship or work placement, then the likelihood is that your CV has changed a great deal over the last few years. You may have work experience to add, new courses or even have changed your mind about your career, in which case your personal statement or introduction may well require some alteration.
Make sure your CV is perfectly formatted, with no mistakes and is a true representation of who you are, as once your interview has been concluded this may be the only thing your interview has to go off apart from memory.
Prepare Your Attitude
By this, we mean you need to have a good think about just how you are going to carry yourself during your interview. You may want to come across graceful and intelligent, or perhaps you have decided confidence is key; this may well depend on the industry you are looking to enter.
This really is vital as there are dangers in setting your stall out either way, it’s all about balance. If you come across too timidly in your interview, you could be seen as weak. However, confidence can easily be misinterpreted as arrogance, so be aware of that. Again, some interviewers could be looking for that but this will vary a great deal.
Have a good think about your audience and prepare your strategy and interview attitude carefully. This could be the difference for the interviewer when the time comes for them to make their decision.
This ties in with your interview approach and you will get better and better at this over time, but preparation really is your friend. Most interview failures emanate from candidates going in unprepared and this is always abundantly obvious to whoever is asking you questions.
Ask The Right Questions
Finally, a sure fire way to come across prepared is to have some killer questions ready. You will almost always be asked these at the end of the session and not having any ready does not give a good impression.
In a similar ilk to confidence, don’t overdo this as this could frustrate your interviewer but some well-prepared questions about the workplace, industry and culture will show that you have done your research and are keen and enthusiastic about potentially entering the sector.
As you will see, there really is no substitute for preparation, and these are the key areas that we think you should be looking at prior to your student job interview. Arrive at your interview with all of these sufficiently points prepared and we think you will stand an excellent chance when the big day arrives.