Getting an interview can be exciting and scary, so here are a few tips to help you at your next interview.
Review the typical interview questions employers ask and practice your answers. When answering any question, link it back to an example from your career or voluntary work.
Research the company and the interviewer and relay this information, where appropriate, within the interview. The interviewer will see that you have done your homework and that you are genuinely interested in the business.
Don’t wait until the last minute to sort your interview outfit and print extra copies of your CV (if this has been requested). Having everything ready for a last-minute interview reduces interview stress.
Be early for your interview as it shows the interviewer and the company you are punctual. If you have to drive to the interview, it is better to leave too much time than arrive late.
Try to stay calm at the interview and maintain eye contact with the person asking the questions.
Practically all recruitment these days has been moved to the virtual world, so the importance of having your online profile optimised cannot be emphasised enough! LinkedIn is the best professional platform for getting yourself noticed but you need to ensure that you enable the right people find you by effective building of your profile.
Tell Your Story
LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to build a picture of who you are professionally, showcase your strengths and style whilst showing your range of experiences and accomplishments. It is important to include keywords that are directed at the type of career you are seeking, so that recruiters, in that area, can more easily find you. You may need to do a little research into what ‘keywords’ your ideal employer would be looking for.
The way in which you sell yourself is very different now, as in the ‘buzzwords’ that used to be considered important, are now big NO-NO’s. Things like “hardworking”, “motivated” and “driven” etc. have been widely overused and are words to avoid. Instead, strategically weave targeted keywords in every part of your profile, the headline, summary, experience and skills.
Make sure you get your LinkedIn profile updated and optimised, so that the job you are seeking is more likely to come to you.
Your CV is the key to helping you secure an interview where you can better demonstrate your desirable qualities and attributes. The presentation, language and formatting of your CV are crucial to ensuring recruiters see what they need to efficiently and effectively.
CV Writing Tips
1. Do Some Research- be sure to research the positions you are seeking on job boards and pick out the most relevant, sought after requirements.
2. Break Up Your Text- large chunks of text are off-putting and unwieldy for recruiters to review.
3. Present a Powerful Profile- ensure your profile is prominently at the top with a short and sharp summarisation of your most valuable skills.
4. Utilise the Core Skills Section- be sure to list your top qualifications, skills or knowledge in bullet points.
5. Use a Professional Email Address- email@example.com, as an example, is not appropriate for your professional CV.
6. Point Out Your Impact- displaying previous responsibilities is good, but you need to demonstrate how your responsibilities and your results made an impact.
7. Have a Well-Structured CV- ensure your CV is easy to flow through and highlights the most important things: Contact Details, Profile, Core Skills, Job Roles, Education & Qualifications and Interests. Ideally, a CV is 2 pages long with a simple font, format and avoid using a photo.
8. Give a High-Level Summary of Your Job Role- first state what the employer does, where you sit within the organisation and how your role benefits the employer. Below that, you can list key responsibilities and key achievements. This method first gives some context before firing into responsibilities.
9. Avoid Generic Clichés- do not use terms like “hard working”, “team player”, “enthusiastic” and “out-of-the-box thinker”, present examples of what you have achieved as proof that you are these things.
10. Tailor Your CV to Every Job You Apply For- study the job advert to understand the sought-after crucial skills and ensure those are closest to the top (Core Skills or Profile) and in plain sight.
Not everyone is designed to live and work in one place for the majority of their lives. There are those that want the freedom to roam the world and enjoy a versatile lifestyle and work environment. One way to do this is by having a job that supports Freelancing. You can even have a combination of Freelancing skills to make yourself even more marketable.
1. Writing, of any kind, is a great freelance career as it can completely web based. This could be writing business blogs, articles, social media posts, magazines or pretty much any facet of writing you can imagine.
2. E-Commerce is another great option. There are several online store owner options that could be operated from wherever it is you want to be, such as an Etsy shop owner or Amazon retailer.
3. Photography offers excellent freelancing opportunities, especially since you can sell to travel websites, online magazines, new publications and so much more!
4. Teaching is a great option as online learning continues to expand and if you earn a TEFL certificate you can market yourself almost anywhere as an English teacher/tutor.
It’s always a nice feeling when you’re invited to an interview with a prospective employer. In most cases, it means they liked your cover letter and your CV, so if you can impress them in the interview, then the job could well be yours. To make sure you don’t fluff your lines, follow our advice below:
Listen Carefully to the Questions
No matter how nervous you are on the day, the most important thing is to remember to listen. Every time an interviewer asks a question you have the opportunity to impress them, so listen and think about your response first, rather than panicking and rushing in with an unimpressive answer.
You have to show you’re interested in their business and the role itself, and by asking questions and creating a more casual dialogue, you can make a positive impression on the interviewer.
Make Eye Contact
Eye contact can show you’re confident in your abilities, and answering a question correctly is one thing, but eye contact can show you truly believe in your skills, and it will give the interviewer more confidence in you.
Tell them your Experiences
An interview is the perfect opportunity to use real life experiences to make your case. Before an interview make notes on your experiences, such as when you solved a problem or achieved something noteworthy.
There are many teaching opportunities in the UK and overseas, but without experience and a busy CV, you may struggle to compete for entry-level teaching positions. If you’re a fresh graduate or you’re currently training to become a teacher, you may want to consider volunteer work, and we”ll explan why.
Volunteering shows you care, and whether you’re helping to teach students in Africa, volunteering for a wildlife charity or helping homeless people in the UK, you can add another dimension to your CV. Today it’s not just enough to complete your degree and jump straight into a job, you have to work hard, undertake work experience and prove you’re passionate about people and teaching.
Many teachers have undertaken volunteer work at some stage in their careers, and if you want to prove you’re determined to becoming a successful teacher, we recommend you consider some of the volunteering roles early on, and there are plenty of options throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and America.