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How to Ace Any Type of Interview

So, it's that time of year when people are starting to get either job interviews or university interviews. A huge congratulations to you! Some of you may be worried about how to succeed in the interview stage, and I've got some tips I want to share that I've used to do well in my own interviews.

So, first of all you need to prepare for the most common questions. "Tell me about yourself" isn't an invitation to divulge all of your personal life! Try to say things like "I currently work at X and have had experience there for X amount of years. I really enjoy X part of my role and have gained skills such as X Y Z". If it's for university you can say "I'm currently in sixth from/college studying X. I have some work experience in X that I can use in my university studies. This course attracted me because X Y Z, which is why I want to study this at university".

If they ask about your strengths and weaknesses, then list a maximum of 5 of each, but for each weakness make sure you give an example of how you have or are trying to overcome it! This shows the interviewer you're willing to improve. Do extensive research, not just about the job or course but the institution too. They could ask why you want to work or study there specifically, when there are hundreds of other places you could have gone to, so make sure you research and prepare your answer. 

Other popular questions are "Do you work well in a team", "Where do you see yourself in X amount of years", "Describe a time you worked well under pressure" "Why should we hire you", or "Why should we give you a place to study here". For each question, make sure you give an example of when you did that thing they'e asking about! Yes or no isn't enough, they want to see proof!

You may have a test or exam to take at your interview, and to this, I say preparation is the only way. When I had my nursing interviews, I studied maths every day for a month before the interview! You don't have to be that extra but make sure you give yourself enough time to prepare for any question.

The best advice for an interview outfit is to always dress up! Sometimes, there isn't a dress code specified, so the best thing to do is to always dress formally. Wear smart trousers, a blouse, a blazer and smart shoes, or a suit with smart shoes too. You have to dress the part and show your interviewer a nice clean appearance. Make sure you're punctual to the interview, please. Turning up 10 or even 15 minutes late can leave a very sour taste in the interviewer's mouth, so make sure you arrive at least 20 minutes before the designated time. Use this time to think through your answers and calm yourself down if you're nervous.

During the interview, body language is very important. Look your interviewer in the eye and nod every so often to show that you're understanding what they're saying. Sit up straight and don't be embarrassed to smile! They've already gone over your personal statement, UCAS application or CV, and now they want to see your personality to see if you're a good fit for their company or course. Show you are interested in what is happening and listen carefully to everything they say. Don't be afraid to ask them to repeat something, too! You won't get penalised for it. 

Group interviews are a bit tricky, but the most important thing is to make sure you don't get forgotten among all the other people there. Make yourself stand out to the interviewers by asking the right type of questions and interacting with the other people there. They want to see how well you work in a team, so show it to them! Phone interviews are pretty easy; just speak clearly and answer the questions in a quiet room with no distractions. The same goes for Skype interviews too!

After the interview, make sure you ask at least one question. Something like "What are the work hours", "When will I hear from you", or even "Where do I purchase a uniform". Asking questions shows you are genuinely interested in joining the company or going to that university.

And that's it! Just sit back and wait for a result, the hard part is over now! If there's anything specific you wanna know, just comment down below!

Photo Credit: Create Her Stock

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