Interview TipsInterview Tips

How to get an interview

Taking the time to understand the job and how your skills and experience match with its requirements will help you come across as a strong candidate.

Employers look at your ability to do the job, whether you’re motivated, and whether you’re a good fit for the organisation.

Knowing your skills
Summarising your skills, knowledge, achievements and experience as selling points will help you with all aspects of applying for a job.

1. Identify what the job involves
What are the tasks, skills, qualities, knowledge and experience the employer is looking for? You will find clues from a range of sources including: the company website, the job description, articles written about the company, and so on.

2. Identify your selling points that prove you can do the job
Match examples from your career so far to what the employer is looking for. Your selling points are based on your past performance, achievements, experience, knowledge, skills and personality.

3. Specify timeframes
Ask yourself when and for how long you performed any tasks, or how long you’ve demonstrated particular skills.

4. Provide proof
What proof do you have that you were good at it? Use numbers (for example, handled 250 calls a day) and consider developing a portfolio of evidence to show some examples of your achievements.

Getting started? Here’s how to achieve your goal of finding a new job.

Manage your personal profile
It’s time to get rid of the ‘sexystuff@gmail’ account and sign up for something a little more professional. It’s also worth googling your name to see what information is out there, and be careful what you say about yourself on Facebook – employers will check!

Contact employers directly
Jump online and research businesses, employers or industries you’d like to work for. Speaking to someone in person is the best way to get your foot in the door. Try to secure a 15-20 minute appointment with the appropriate person to learn more about the organisation and, more importantly, so they remember you when they are looking for new staff.

Make the most of your networks
Networking is about making connections with people who can either give you information about potential job openings, or introduce you to others who have this information. Don't be afraid to ask for help. People are usually happy and flattered to help others if they can.

Register with recruitment agencies
Recruitment agencies advertise jobs on behalf of employers, and you will normally need to register with an agency before you can apply for the vacancy. Registration is free and you can register with as many recruitment agencies as you wish - which is often a good idea, as they may contact you about other suitable vacancies. This can be an effective way to access jobs that are not publicly advertised.

Treat it like a job
Set yourself goals and put time aside to conduct your research and applications. If you’re out of work, set your alarm clock and get up and dress as if you’re preparing for work.