How to Blow Your Own Trumpet at Your Next Job Interview.

Being prepared, calm and well informed before an interview is a must.

Here are a few tips on helping you get thorough, what many feel is a very stressful thing…. THE JOB INTERVIEW

  1. My advice is take the stress out of worrying about public transport, or where you are going to park. Order a cab or Uber with at least 45 minutes to spare. It’s much easier to get there early, go to a café or park and wait, so you walk in on time and relaxed. If you do want to drive, do a drive by the day before so you know where the location is and closest parking. Some places have great car parks, ring reception the day before and ask.
  2. Do your research, or due diligence on the company that you’re being interviewed by. Look at their website, their clients, make notes on what you think of their website, and see what you can find out about the person that is interviewing you and who works there. Being informed makes the interview go much more smoothly for you and doesn’t leave you open to looking foolish when they begin to talk about the company. Its great if you can join in the conversation from the get go and have an opinion.
  3. Be your self. Don’t put on airs and graces. Interviewers can see through that. Yes, they want to hire someone with the skill sets they are looking for, but they are also looking for a cultural fit. Personality plays a large part in employing someone. So be you. Feel comfortable talking about you in a chatty manner.
  4. If you are a creative and your folio is not a printed folio, make sure you take an iPad or laptop with you. Don’t rely on showing your work on the interviewers computer. Never just turn up with a hard drive. It smacks of being unprepared and disorganized. If you don’t own one, borrow one for the day. DO NOT rely on the internet, have your work on the desk top or as a PDF. If they want to look at your website, be prepared to connect to your iPhone or dongle, incase they don’t know passwords etc to the office internet. Make it as stress free for both of you as possible.
  5. Work out the night before what you plan to wear and how you plan to get there. Dress appropriately. Hot or cold weather, you always have to look tidy and well presented. In many cases there is no need to put on a suit, you don’t want to overdress, but at the same time, you don’t want to turn up in ripped jeans and old trainers. Do your homework on the business. Most websites have an “Our Team” section, check them out, how are they dressed. If the interview is via a recruiter, ask them, they will know the company and be able to advise, (the good ones will be able to anyway). You must feel comfortable, so if jeans and trainers are your thing, make them clean and neat. If it is a role that you think a suit would enhance your chances, maybe relax it by not wearing a tie. I am asked these questions all the time, often at 7.00am I get a text …with photos of should I wear this or this…. I don’t mind and find it quite endearing, but it is just a stress you don’t need hours before the interview. Be more prepared, plan ahead!
  6. Talk about yourself in a positive manner along with your relevant past experiences. People want to employ those whose glass is half full, not half empty. Know the job and company well and make sure you have the opportunity to talk about why you think you would be a good part of their team. It is your time to shine, so shine !! Don’t be arrogant and criticise their company, but if you are asked an opinion about something, be honest, polite and offer a possible solution if you don’t agree with them. Be solutions focussed !!

10 Points How to Interview

I spend a lot of time with creatives on understanding how to best present themselves and their work in an interview.

I recently did a talk to a group of students and was asked to put forward 10 bullet points on how to go about the interview process.

I thought I would share them with you. They are in no specific order, but all equally important.

• Interview the interviewer (It’s important you understand the role and ask questions too).

• Be confident not cocky.

• Have a plan when you meet them on how you want to show your work.

• Gauge the meeting to see if they are chatty, quiet, formal, informal and follow accordingly.

• Never forget it’s an interview.

• Research the company first.

• Communication - BE YOU!

• Don’t bore them, find something in common with them while chatting eg: a project they’ve done, footy team, picture of a pet on their desk.

• Be relevant.

• Be individual.

In an interview — p.s It's a test

Continuing on from my previous post "In an Interview", here are some other points to consider:

If you find yourself in an interview situation where there are several people sitting around a table chatting and the atmosphere has become quite informal, NEVER, NEVER forget you are still in an interview!

DON’T

  • Start swearing even if they do
  • Talk badly about someone even if they do, you are best to be a bit vague about that person or say you had heard stories but never experienced it yourself
  • Put your feet up on the table even if they do
  • Talk about your partying exploits even if they do
  • REMEMBER — this is all set to test you and what kind of a person you are. You certainly don’t want to pretend to be something that you’re not but you do need to soften the edges in your first interview.

I have seen situations exactly like this; where the candidate was perfect and the client was a minute away from offering them a position. The candidate then let their guard down in the relaxed atmosphere of the interview and later the client has rung me to say how great he was and would have been perfect for the job. BUT can you believe that he spent the last 15 minutes talking about how shit his last boss was and became quite personal. This was enough for the potential employer to be turned off.

You have to remember in a situation like this, the employers thinking what will this person be like when they leave my employ and what will they say about me and my company?

In an interview — "Whats" and "Nots" to do

You have to remember in an interview situation that you have one chance to make an impression on your potential employer. As my mum would say, ‘you need to be able to stand on your head and blow your socks off at the same time!’.

What this actually means is that you need to be articulate — answer the questions truthfully, ask questions about the business — whilst maintaining composure, keeping nerves at bay and displaying the qualities that have been discussed in the brief.

Things NOT to do:

  • Bag your previous employer
  • Complain about long hours in your previous job
  • Talk about people that you have worked with in a negative manner
  • Don’t be late to the interview and if you are; make sure you phone the company and explain to them why you are running late: ‘the train didn’t come on time, I had a flat tyre'
  • If you can see you are not going to make the 11 am meeting, ring BEFORE 11 am NOT after — when you are already late
  • Don’t make money your priority but have a clear understanding of what your worth is before you go in, in case the question comes up
  • Don’t turn up with your bum hanging out of your jeans and wearing thongs, even if it is 40 degrees outside
  • Don’t park in a one-hour parking spot and have to leave the interview to fill the meter
  • Don’t say ‘ummmmm’ when answering questions
  • Don’t have a big night before the interview, be clear-headed and clean breathed.

Things to REMEBER to do:

  • Research the company prior to your interview
  • Conversationally bring up some of the campaigns or projects you have seen on their website
  • Look up the employer up on LinkedIn before the interview and see if you have any connections that you may be able to bring up in the interview
  • Be honest and up-front
  • If the interview is going well, and they start talking start dates, let them know there and then if you have holidays pre-booked
  • Be observant in the meeting, if something catches your eye in the office, such a photo of a Staffy dog and you have a Staffy dog, it could be a nice, warming conversation to break the ice
  • Dress appropriately and comfortably
  • Be confident about who you are and what your skills are
  • Look your potential employer in the eye
  • Shake hands at the beginning and end of the interview, no matter how relaxed the atmosphere is.
  • Good luck!

Want more? Keep reading with "In an Interview — It's a Test"