But, like any successful Tinder date, there are a few rules to live by in the world of interviewing. As someone who interviews candidates for PR jobs regularly and has been interviewed many times myself, it is easy to see what maketh a good interview. For example, as an interviewer, you shouldn’t turn up to interview your new applicant late, hung-over and without the keys to your own office… yes, that happened to me once. I was interviewed by the owner of one of the top PR agencies in London – I wont say whom - but needless to say I didn’t get the job; not surprisingly as my CV was on the other side of a locked door. Who doesn’t love lobby interview chic?
So, in true interview style, I have listed things to do and not to do below. I have experienced many of these bad ones myself and hope, like velvet scrunchies, they are trends that die out pretty quickly…
1 – Don’t act like you’ve never wanted anything less than to get this job…. I am not kidding, the amount of people I have interviewed in my time who seem to have misunderstood that THEY applied for this job and I do not secretly have their kitten at knife point somewhere behind the scenes. Don’t use the face I keep for when my housemate forces Location, Location, Location on me – a mixture of my life is over and how quickly can I leave.
2 – Try not to be too nervous… easier said than done, but people make awkward jokes (and by the look on their faces instantly regret them) when nervous. ‘Ha ha ha, don’t worry I wont lock the intern in the cupboard over the weekend’ – umm, what?
3 – Do not mention money in a first interview… When asked what is it that motivates you to look for a new job, do not answer with “because my old job doesn’t pay enough” or “it’s all about money for me”. Yes, both of those answers have been uttered in my presence. Yes I had to stop myself from face palming in front of them.
4 – Offer up as much information as possible… the interviewer is there because they see the potential that is clearly within you. Tell us about your biggest achievements, your top work, the way you manage people, even your likes outside of the office. Its important to show who you are and what you could offer to the company – even if that is the fact you can re-enact the David Brent dance from The Office. If it comes in handy at the Christmas party, it’s a-ok in my book.
5 – Turn up on time… if you’re late you aren’t interested enough to be on time – well that’s how it looks anyway!
6 – Dress for the job you want…I know it sounds cliché but I work at a jewellery agency, if you interview for a job in jewellery, wear jewellery! Not sure the same can be said about looking for a job as a life guard, but heh, what do I know?
7 – Like the product you will be promoting… whether that’s a brand or a company, do not mention that you “aren’t really into xxx, but saw the listing and so went for it…” Also jokingly saying you often lose the product you are supposed to be working with isn’t a great start.
8 – Know your audience…read up on the company, google the owner, work out the end user experience. In the same way a date likes to hear that you also like skiing / fitness / searching for Pikachu’s in graveyards, potential employers like to hear you know the company, the mission and the fact they like to drink copious amounts of prosecco on Thirsty Thursdays.
9 – Bring a BIG idea, but read the room… I love when people pitch ideas to me in interviews; it shows you are already thinking like a team member, so the transition would be smooth. Judge the interviewer though, I might like a crazy out the box idea, but they might like one that showcases your in-the-field knowledge. Don’t be a Grayson Perry when an Anna Wintour is needed…
10 – Be yourself, because everyone else is taken!
The most important thing is just to be confident and know that you deserve the job you are going for. Be memorable, but for the right reasons. Prove that you are what is needed. And if like me you believe in fate, know that the right job will come along for you!
Do you have any interview tips that you live by? Hope you find these helpful! Good luck!