If you’ve been going to job interviews but not getting a job, you’re probably feeling frustrated. Preparing for interviews takes a lot of work, so it can be exhausting to do it without results! If you’re getting to the interview stage though, it’s a sign something is going right.
So give yourself a pat on the back. But if you want your next job interview to be your last for while, here’s some things you can do.
What you can do before the interview
- What are you posting on social media? If there are too many shots of you half-naked or drinking beer, it won’t help your chances. Some employers will check.
- What will you wear? Are your clothes clean and ironed? Dress more formally than you think you’ll need to.
- Do you have good references? You will need to ask someone before you apply if they’re willing to be a reference. They need to be someone who knows you and your work well. They must be able to respond quickly if an employer calls.
- How prepared are you? Have you researched the organisation? Have you thought about what they might ask and what you could say?
- Does your resume tell the truth? It can be tempting to exaggerate your experience or achievements, but you’ll probably be found out. Sell yourself, but be honest.
- Can you practice with someone? Can you ask a friend or family member to act out the interview with you? They can give you feedback and it will let you practice your answers.
What you can do during the interview
- Do you have the right attitude? If you’ve had a lot of interviews, it’s important to stay positive. And if you’re unhappy with your last job, don’t let that show. Employers want someone who is passionate about the job or organisation.
- What is your body doing? Are you glued to your watch or phone? Slouching, looking away? What is your body language like?
- How are you answering questions? If you’re nervous you might be rambling. It’s OK to stop and ask the interviewer to repeat the question.
- Are your salary expectations realistic? Talk of money might come up in the interview. Make sure you have researched how much similar jobs pay.
What you can do after the interview
- Say thank you. Emailing a thank you note the day of the interview will keep the employer thinking about you. You can also say how much you’d like the job, give a quick summary of how you could help the organisation and list anything else you forgot to mention.
What you can do if you don't get the job
It can feel pretty scary, but asking for feedback when you find out you haven’t got a job can be one of the most helpful things you can do.
How to ask for feedback
- The best time to ask is just after you find out that you weren’t successful. So if the employer phones to let you know, you could ask then. Or if they email, you could ask that way. It’s best to ask within 24 hours.
- Asking for feedback is not an opportunity to get angry and ask why you didn’t get the job. Look at it instead as way to get constructive feedback on where your weak points were and how you can do better.
- What should you say? Tell the employer you would like any information that will help you in your next interview or application. Was there anything you could have done better? Was there anything the other candidates did that you didn’t?
- What can you expect? An employer is more likely to help if you were well-prepared for the interview and showed a real interest in the job.
- What next? Perhaps the interviewer thought you lacked certain skills. Perhaps there was someone who was a better fit for the organisation. Feedback can help you to tweak what you do or rethink where you might like to work.
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