Whether you’re in the market for a summer job or looking to take your first step on the career ladder, you’ll be thinking of ways to get the edge over other candidates in interviews — even if you don’t have lots of work experience.
Your DofE gives you plenty of examples that are sure to help you stand out from the crowd. Find out from successful entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den investor Deborah Meaden how to make a great first impression and perform brilliantly at interviews.
Preparation for an interview is key. It will give you confidence and plenty to talk about.
Before you go, look through the job description and research your potential employer, the industry they’re in and who’s interviewing you. Consider questions the interviewer may ask — and pick out the best examples to show off your skills when you answer them.
Reference your DofE
Doing your DofE shows employers that you’re invested in your future, you want to learn and progress in life, you can solve problems and you aren’t afraid of a challenge.
Think of those times you had to deal with a new situation, learning as you went. Use concrete examples — and be sure to show how the skills you developed through doing your DofE relate to the job you’re being interviewed for.
Show you’re a team player
Never underestimate how important showing you’re a team player is. It shows employers that you’re committed to working well with others to achieve common goals. You’re prepared to share responsibility when things go well — and when things are difficult.
Listen carefully to the interviewer
If you’re not paying attention in interviews, you’re not going to give the best responses or show your potential employer that you care about the job. Really listening shows the interviewer you’re interested in the role.
Interviews are all about striking a balance between being professional and being yourself. Make sure you give honest responses and don’t give answers just because you think that’s what the interviewer wants to hear.
Be on time
First impressions matter — so it’s vital you’re not late. Allow yourself plenty of time to get the interview, organise your travel and make sure you plan your route in advance.
Employers are always looking for someone who’s committed and passionate about what they do. Showing that you really understand the role, what your potential employer does and how they do it will impress the interviewer and show you’re enthusiastic about joining their team.
It can be hard to know what to wear to an interview, especially when you haven’t had many before — but dressing smartly is another way to give a great first impression. It’s important to dress comfortably and feel like yourself, but make sure you wear something that’s professional and right for the job you’re applying for.