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Jobs and work experience

How to do well in your work experience interview

30 July 2021

Work experience looks great on your CV, not only that but it can help you decide what field of work to go into, and find your niche. Cardiff University can help you find work experience and internships, so finding them isn’t too difficult, securing them is the hardest part. This blog will outline how to be successful in a work experience interview to make sure you get the job.

First of all, the most important step is prep. It is vital that you do as much research on the company and people you will be working for. Read their website thoroughly, how is the company trying to be portrayed, who do they appeal to, what are their outcomes, what is their ethos? Once you know all this, you will be able to tailor your answers in the interview to the specific company. Look at the company’s social media, and if you know the people interviewing you, check out their social media too, they will probably be looking at yours. Another element of the preparation is focusing on the job role. Do as much research as you can on the role, so you can be prepared to answer technical questions. Make a list of all your skills and past experiences, highlight the ones specific to the job role, and make sure to talk about them in your interview. Think about some potential answers to some potential questions, and say them out loud so you are rehearsing how you will sound and come across in the interview. Another element of preparation is deciding what you will wear. Whether it is an online interview or an in-person interview, it is important you look presentable and smart. Decide what to wear based on the company you are applying for. If you know that the company is relaxed and there is no dress code, then dress casual but smart. If you don’t know the company’s dress code, then always err on the side of caution and dress smarter. If the interview is in person, then you might want to take a slim folder filled with information about you, including your CV and cover letter you sent them, photo ID, and any other documents they ask you to bring or you think are relevant. Even though water may be provided for you at the interview, always being a reusable bottle filled with water, just in case; you don’t want to suffer from dry mouth during an interview. Also, bring a notepad and pen so you can take notes, especially important if the interviewer starts telling you what your role be, and how you are expected to do it. That is everything to do with prep, now lets’s discuss how to impress in the interview.

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

In an interview, first impressions are everything. When you enter the room, or click the Zoom link, make sure you smile. Be as genuine as possible and do not show the interviewer/s a false representation of you. If the interview is in person, and it is safe to do so, shake hands with the interviewer. Once the interview begins, do not be afraid to take a pause before answering questions. You will come across as confident and in control if you take a few seconds to actually think of your answer before speaking. Often in interviews, people do not actually answer the question, and they go off on a tangent, completely unrelated to the question. They then look incompetent and not fit for the job. So taking a few seconds to think about what you will say, will mean you are actually going to successfully answer the question. Also, do not be afraid to make mistakes. If you do make a mistake, ask to correct it. Be willing to ask the interviewer to ask the question again if you do not understand what they are asking. If you do not know the answer to a question, it is much better to say you do not know, than to fake an answer. It’s important to speak slowly, in a clear voice. Make sure to ask the interviewer/s a couple of questions at the end, this shows you are interested in the job and that you are proactive. Lastly, no matter how the interview goes, always end on a positive; smile, and thank them for the opportunity. After the interview, do not overthink every answer you gave, put the interview out of your mind.

Photo by Alex Green from Pexels

Every interview is an experience and a great opportunity, so use every interview as a learning curve. A lot of the times, a company needs you as much as you need them, so be confident and enthusiastic. Remember to be your true self, and sell yourself without coming across as too arrogant.

I hope these tips were helpful, and you now feel a bit more confident on how to do well in an interview!

Stay tuned for more videos and blogs!

Miah x