Probably one of the most nerve-racking experiences that us as humans must deal with in our lifetime is securing a new job/position. And it never seems to get easier no matter how hard you try!
Meeting new people, overcoming difficult questions and having to sell yourself is a prerequisite.
Investing time into the job preparation seems like a chore but it is key whether the job you are going to be an optical assistant position or an optometrist role. You must be able to show character with a sense of confidence, brushing up on your communication skills to talk clearly and concisely. Remember, the point of any job interview is to get offered the position! Only then do you have the choice to make!
When receiving feedback from my clients stating, “the candidate wasn’t prepared”, it is the most frustrating and embarrassing part of being a recruitment manager. Failure to prepare is preparing for failure! Without the basic preparation, you are walking into a losing battle.
Simple things such as researching the company history, current company news and understanding the job description are easy to do. Not only should you do your research, but you must understand yourself. Know your skill set, remember your achievements, know your CV and even practice conversations with family members or a friend to strengthen your communication skills.
- Image and appearance
The first 30 seconds of an interview is key. It is human nature and an individual’s subconscious that results in us forming an opinion or a conclusion and this could be in both a positive or a negative way. Dress in a manner that is professionally appropriate to the position. Remember to be positive, enthusiastic and maintain eye contact. We all react positively when speaking to someone who has a passion for what they do…remember this!
Ensure you are at the interview location 15 minutes before. Do not aim to get there ON TIME as you must factor in parking, traffic and even finding the building(thank god for Google maps!). If it’s one thing that people hate, it’s lateness and it really doesn’t help your application. One way to help this is to prepare your route, clothes, preparations etc. the evening before at the latest. This gives you, even more, time to concentrate on your interview technique!
Always have questions relative to the position that you are going for. It shows a genuine interest in the role, the company and the person you’re interviewing with. Remember, questions about the day to day working environment, management structure, progression routes etc. are great. Do not make it about the package, sick pay, maternity/paternity cover etc. Questions can also be conversation starters and, being in a retail/healthcare industry such as optics, conversations are important when dealing with people all day, every day.
- Answering Questions
Easier said than done. Right?!
This is your bread and butter! Some interviews can be formal; others may well be informal and conversational. But, one thing you should always do, is keep on your toes when questions come at you! This goes back to Tip No. 1…..PREPARATION!!
Make sure you’re able to articulate your answers and explain in depth exactly what you mean. Exemplify and demonstrate answers with real life experiences. Ideally, they would relate to the role you are interviewing for.
Questions that could come up in an interview:
- Why do you want to work here?
- What are you looking for from a company?
- What are your Strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What motivates you?
- Can you tell me about yourself?
When simple questions like this are asked, stay calm, think about what you are going to say and keep eye contact when answering. Again, prepare for these questions!
- How to finish an interview
Ask if there is anything else you can provide, such as references, work samples etc. Make them aware that you are keen on the position. Examples such as “Thank you for considering my application. I really feel I can add value to the team and the business, I hope to hear from you soon”.Something so simple and polite can take you a long way. You could also say“If I’m successful what would the next steps be?” It gives off an air of confidence and not arrogance.