The interviewer determining whether you are a strong candidate and a good fit for their company and culture comes down to what you say and how you say it, in the interview. A good way to prepare yourself is to think about the things you don’t want to say and think of some things you do want to get covered.
The interviewer is not interested in your personal life, holiday plans or why you need to get hired for this job. They want to know who the best candidate for the job is. That being said, here are 5 things to not say in the interview.
Negativity about previous job or boss
Remaining professional and positive during an interview is especially important. The interviewer may ask you questions like “Why are you looking for a new job?” or “What didn’t you like about your previous positions?”. Your ability to answer these questions while avoiding a negative manner about your previous employer or job can show the employer that you can remain professional.
Positive answers to these questions can fill the interviewer with confidence that you will be a good addition to their companies’ culture and that you will not say anything negative about them in the future.
Do not just give yes or no answers.
For much of the time, interviewers will ask you open ended questions, however, sometimes you will get a yes or no question. It is important to elaborate on your answer and not just say yes or no and leave it at that.
If the hiring manager asks you a question you don’t have an answer to, you can ask them to elaborate or if you must, re word and turn it around on them.
If they persist and continue to look for a response, say you would be happy to answer after you do some follow up research, this shows that you have an eagerness to learn, which will help the situation.
“I don’t have any questions”.
At the end of the interview most interviewers will ask if you have any questions. It is important when preparing for an interview to have some meaningful questions prepared to ask the employer, this shows that you have interest in the company and in the position.
How much does this job pay?
If you can help it, don’t be the first one to bring up salary. If you are too quick to mention money, it might come across to the employer that all you are after is the money. This is an especially mortal sin at the first meeting. When you find out more about the company and your role, you will be able to better determine your salary range.
Not following up.
If you felt that you under preformed in an interview, a simple email reiterating your interest is a courtesy that may just pay off in the long run.
New Year, New Career. For many people, December and Christmas mean overindulgence leading to the January blues. Bodies rid copious amounts of alcohol and festive foods, people start staying in, saving money and getting back to reality. This January, make it your mission to stay positive and use the New Year as an opportunity for a fresh start. Whether you want to become healthier, travel more, learn more or excel in your career – get on the ball as soon as January hits.
A New Year instigates the notion of new beginnings in the form of resolutions, promises and changes and among this, job-hunting begins and career changes rise. Many people feel like a career change but are unsure of where to start. Find a career that you love and an environment that you thrive in by following our guide for kick-starting your new career this December.
Set yourself realistic expectations. A lot of New Year’s resolutions can be unattainable as people set themselves too many big targets at once. If your goal is drastic, you are likely going to break the rules and cheat here and there. This can result in people feeling like they have failed and they can fall off the ladder. To help you in your new career, set smaller, more achievable goals and create a schedule/calendar/map of what is needed to do to reach them.
Switch it up
If you are unhappy in your current job it might be worth discussing the possibility of switching roles within your company. Explain to your boss how you are feeling and what you are thinking of doing. Maybe it is that you feel you can no longer excel in your role.
When you are looking for a new career or searching for new jobs, treat it seriously and set yourself a timetable as you would do if you were working. In your schedule, include things like market research on companies of interest, professionals in your chosen field etc. Only apply for jobs that you are genuinely interested in. Keep record of all the positions which you have applied for.
Make a list of your successes, strengths and qualities. If you struggle with this ask close friends and family to help out and ask them to be honest. Ask questions like: “What could I bring to the role that others can’t?”. Know your worth and aim even higher.
Learn from others
Is there someone at work that always seems to get the job done? Every workplace has at least one, they excel at their job, they ooze confidence/motivation or ambition. Engage with these people, let their positive energy rub off on you. Surround yourself with people who will inspire you to better yourself and who encourage you to be the best that you can be.
Update your LinkedIn account. Once your account is updated, become an active user. Join groups that are relevant to your interests. Follow companies and people that you are interested in on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and comment/share and engage in posts appropriately.
Go to industry events, meet and talk to people in areas that might benefit and make sure to follow up afterwards by adding them on LinkedIn. Contact leaders/professionals in your area of interest and ask them questions or advice.
CVs can determine whether or not you make it to interview stage. Review your CV carefully and make sure that it is perfect. When recruiting, spelling mistakes can give off the impression of laziness and a lack of attention to detail. Ask people you trust to critique it afterwards – work colleagues, friends etc.
A graduate is defined by the Oxford dictionary as “A person who has successfully completed a course of study or training, especially a person who has been awarded an undergraduate or first academic degree“. Starting your career as a graduate is a new beginning that many students look forward to. It is an exciting time as you leave the student life behind once and for all and take a step on to the career ladder. No more all-nighters to finish assignments, no more cramming months of study into weeks or even days and no more plain pasta and baked beans, well! Going from a graduate to the professional world can be a challenging time as routine and responsibilities kick in. It can be stressful as other graduates are looking for employment, increasing the competition and leaving companies choosing the best. Practice patience and don’t let knock-backs get you down. Aim high and read these tips for kick-starting your graduate career.
Find Your Niche
First, figure out what it is that you want to do. Make a list of things you want to change in the world, your skills, passions, motivations and goals. This will help you learn what kind of person you are and what you want to become. It will aid you in choosing a career that suits you. Ask friends and family for support and advice. Speak to people already working in the area you would like to try out and get advice from them, if you’re lucky you might even get some work experience.
Networking is extremely important and useful for graduates and future graduates. There are so many people in your network that can help you when it comes to your career – lecturers, classmates, peers, other students, friends and family. Talk to as many people as you can about your aspirations, you never know what advice or help you may receive. It can also be a good way to listen out for employment as most vacancies are filled by word of mouth and as the saying goes it’s not about what you know, it’s who you know. The more people you talk to, the more likely you are to pick up tips, learn and find opportunities.
Update Social Profiles
Ensure that your online presence is presentable. This is a must! Most employers will search for potential employees and it is important that you don’t make a bad impression. Keep yourself respectable on all social platforms and make sure you are using LinkedIn to its full potential. Network and search for companies and employers of interest etc. Include contact information such as phone numbers, e-mail address, all social media profile URL’s, company websites, blog web address etc. This will make it easy for an employer to research and contact you. And think before you post!
Recruiters search for CVs on job websites when looking to fill vacancies and hire employees. Create a profile on job websites and upload a copy of your CV, it doesn’t take long to do and it means potential employers looking for the type of skills or qualifications you have can find you. Upload your CV to your LinkedIn profile as employers can use this to search for employees. Tailor your CV to individual jobs. When applying for a specific job role, you are essentially telling the employer why you are perfect for the position. It might be more time-consuming but changing your Cover Letter and CV for jobs will make you stand out more.
Volunteer for charitable organisations that you have an interest in. Get involved in new projects or new tasks whether it is in college, work or socially. The more experience you have and things you have done the more interesting you seem, the more you people you meet the more learn.
Skills & Experience
Most people will have work experience whether it is related to your graduate job/degree or not. Use your experience from previous jobs or the skills you have obtained through work life such as efficiency, working in a fast-paced environment, organisation and leadership etc. Don’t forget about college or voluntary experience. If you were involved in college projects or activities such as college radio or magazine make sure to include this and list the skills that you have gained from them.
Research the Company
Make sure you do your research and know the company history and core values before going for an interview. It is important to know about the company because if you are questioned on it and you don’t know anything about it you can give off a bad impression and it show disinterest. It is also helpful when it comes to writing your cover letter and knowing which skills to enhance during the interview process.
If there is a brand or company that you would love to work for then don’t be afraid to approach them. Do your history, research them and find out as much as you can. See if they have any vacancies. Find out who works for them and network with these people. Send them your CV or approach them directly. If you would like to work here then you more than likely have the skills and personality fitted to the company. It’s worth a shot.
Start a Blog
Sell yourself as well as your degree. A lot of the time, employers are looking for skills and personality. Use your strengths and make yourself stand out. Blog about things you know and are interested in or passionate about. You can share these on your LinkedIn profile.
No longer a Graduate – When you Get the Job
Your employer can’t read your mind. They don’t expect you to know everything. If there are certain elements of the company or workload which you don’t understand, ask for clarification.
Throw yourself into the work assigned and show your enthusiasm. Don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen. Get involved in important events and projects. Use your initiative to think and act independently. Speak up and voice your opinions and ideas.
Assess yourself regularly, set yourself some long-term career goals. Know your personality, your skills, your weaknesses. Be honest with yourself and improve on where you think you should. With appealing jobs being limited and those that are advertised getting snapped up quickly it can be tempting to apply for all sorts of jobs which might not appeal to you, just for the sake of finding a job. Think about what it is exactly that you are applying for. Do not apply for something which you have absolutely no interest in. You spend most of your time at work so choose something which you will enjoy, learn from and can grow in.
Even if you don’t love your job, do it well anyway. Every job is an opportunity and you must start somewhere. It’s OK if you feel that this is not the right job for you. It will give you a greater understanding of what you don’t want to do and what want from your career.
Making mistakes in your career is a lot different to making mistakes in college. When you make mistakes in college you might fail an assignment or subject. When you make mistakes in your job you learn lessons that you can grow from and take with you throughout your career.
Most great people did not get to where they are today on their own. They had a strong support system to help them on their way. Learn from your colleagues and if they give you advice, listen to them and take it on board. Chances are, they have a lot more experience than you, accept their help.
You never stop learning. Read books that are related to your job role, sign up for events or courses to update your skills. If you are passionate about it, this won’t even be work and you will enjoy it.
Most of all we want a prestigious career but it can be hard to maintain a healthy work/life balance. While you are striving towards your career goals, don’t forget to be happy right now as happiness is a journey. Everyone has different dreams and aspirations, some of which can be tough and take a long time. Here are some tips to set long term career goals and achieve your success.
1. Make a list
Write down all your career goals and dreams. Prioritise them. Figure out what you need to do to achieve them.
First of all, if you are unsure of what your career goals are then ask yourself some questions, in addition assess yourself and finally, figure it out.
What are you most proud of achieving this year? Personally, or professionally?
Things have you achieved in your career?
Describe your ideal working environment?
List the most important job benefits to you?
What position would you most like to have?
Would you like to work as part of a team or as an individual?
What do you want your job to do for you?
Note the kind of person you want to be?
Who do you most admire?
Be vocal about what career success is to you?
Visualise the impact you want to make or have on the people you work with?
What do you feel is your closest calling?
If no obstacles stood in the way of your goals what would you do?
2. Create Schedules
Making a schedule gives you structure. Schedules can make it less stressful to complete tasks as you are more prepared and you are also more likely to complete them if you have time-frames and direction.
Express your goals to your family and friends. Telling those close to us can help as it is not always easy conquering things alone. Friends and family will lend support and encouragement, making it easier to achieve goals. They can also help by giving their advice and sharing ideas.
4. Knowledge & Skills
Broaden your knowledge and enhance your skill set. Work on areas where you feel you can improve on, for example, improving your presentation skills. Increasing your knowledge by taking a course or by reading books relevant to your career. If you are not learning, you are not improving.
Create a LinkedIn Profile and network with other professionals in your area or the area which you aspire to be in. Get involved in conversations, give your opinion and reach out to people for advice.
6. Overnight Success
You must start somewhere, and more than likely it will be at the bottom. Don’t let this put you off, dreams don’t happen overnight and even some of the most famous, professional people started at the bottom. Walt Disney was fired from Missouri Newspaper for not having enough creativity before going on to be nominated for 59 academy awards and winning 32, holding the record of most Oscars won by an individual.
7. Remain Positive
Be more positive. People are way more likely to be productive and achieve tasks and goals if they are in a positive mindset.
8. Get Healthy
Make smart choices when it comes to food and exercise. A healthy body creates a healthy mind. It is not breaking news that eating well and exercising have several mental and physical health benefits including the reduction of stress, releasing feel-good endorphin’s, improving confidence, boosting brainpower and increases productivity to name a few.
Don’t be Afraid. Facing your fears can be motivational and once you do it you will not regret it. Don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone. You will never be challenged or move forward if you are stuck in your comfort zone.
Search for Inspiration. A work colleague you aspire to be, a family member you want to make proud. Look for what it is that inspires you and work for it.
11. Believe in yourself
Be kind to yourself and believe in yourself. Become independent and enjoy your own company. Don’t give up, there is no reason why you can’t do anything! Remind yourself of why you’re doing what you’re doing. There will be ups and downs, that’s life. It’s OK to make mistakes and for motivation to dip. Remember the benefits.
The main reason for setting out to achieve goals is for the rewards gained afterwards. After completing something on your list, rewards yourself with something.
Tips on reaching your career goals from our Permanent Recruitment Manager, Aileen McCann:
Envisage and you will succeed (Pin a picture of the car you want up on your wall and look at it each day- you need to get that promotion to get the car!)
Believe in yourself
Get over your fears
Tell someone your goal to make it more real
Get a coach (professional or someone you work with – to bounce off each day)
Plan – make a road map and route the easiest and quickest way to get to your goal
Leave behind those who will hold you back
Surround yourself with those who will get you to your goals or who you need their assistance to get it.
Check in with yourself along the way make sure you are still on track if not reroute and get back on the track
Good luck ….
For more tips and expert advice on Personal Goal Setting our friends at MindTools have written an excellent article on How to take your career to the next level by setting yourself SMART Goals.