Last month, as part of our #CJ25Socks Christmas Campaign, we asked our community to share their top interview tips. And boy did they deliver! We received some amazing advice from a bunch of you; from those currently going through the interview process, right through to recruiters and career coaches. So for those who missed it, here’s a round-up of the top tips from our community that will help you ace your next interview.
Research! Mention a recent charity event they took part in or big news in the industry to demonstrate your interest
Never risk winging it on the day! Showing industry knowledge and enthusiasm for the sector (particularly in the charity world) is often vital. Make sure you have an understanding of not just the job but the cause that the charity supports and why it’s meaningful to you.
Be nice to everyone you meet
Treat everyone you meet properly. I often ask reception about candidates. Its not unheard of for a candidate to appear great in the interview, but to have been rude or disrespectful to reception. Guess what? They don't get the job! #CJ25Socks
Your interview starts the second you enter the door. Take the time to introduce yourself to the people that you meet and always be polite. It doesn’t matter whether you’re meeting a receptionist, CEO or a volunteer, everyone deserves to be treated well. Remember, you want to be memorable for all of the right reasons!
My interview tip: Don't feel you have to answer a question instantly – it's okay to pause and take a breath and be calm in your reply, or even to ask to come back to it if you need time to think of a good example or experience. We aren't robots! #CJ25Socks
It’s easy to say anything that pops into your head when there are questions being fired at you – but try and remember that it’s absolutely fine to ask for a minute and think carefully before answering. Recruiters would definitely prefer you to take your time and come up with a considered response over a garbled one.
Show your enthusiasm
Be early and be passionate. Basic stuff but so often missing.
If there was ever a good time to show your keen, it’s a job interview. It’s often easy to get anxious about remembering all our points and prepping for certain questions, that our passion for the role takes a back seat. Make sure to let yours shine through, arriving early will even help you with this by putting your mind at ease rather than rushing about last minute!
Don’t get disheartened
Remember your soft skills. Focus on all of you, allow your passion to show & be modestly confident. If you don't get this job, learn from the experience & take heart you got to an interview. Next time for sure!
The job process is tough, so it’s really important not to let it get you too down if you don’t make the cut this time. Learn from it and go again!
No rushing off
Ask at the end of the interview whether you've sufficiently answered all the interviewers' questions and if there's anything they'd like you to clarify – gives you a chance to go over anything you might have forgotten! #CJ25Socks
Never rush out of the interview room when they’ve finished up with all of their questions. Take a few minutes to ask any questions that you have, expand on points that you made previously and get to know the people in the room a little bit better. After all, you could end up working with them.
Follow up afterwards. Any decent employer should give you feedback. But if they don't, don't waste your efforts flogging a dead horse. The chances are you haven't been selected and useful as feedback is your efforts are best spent on the next opportunity
Don’t be afraid to chase up a recruiter and ask how they felt you did. It’s not pestering! You spent time preparing and attending that interview so you’re perfectly within your right to ask for some feedback. You never know, even if you didn’t get it this time, they could have some tips for your next one.
Finish on a high
I always make a point of asking my interviewers what their favourite part of working at the company is. Gives you the chance to see if they really like the place (or whether you're walking into a mistake) – and they associate meeting you with good feelings about their job!
The moment an interviewer asks you if you have any questions for them is the perfect opportunity for you to dig a little deeper and see whether the company really is a good fit for you. But if those words fill you with dread, then you can always fall back on the question suggested above and know you’re on to a winner!
So there you have it – the top tips from our community! Do you have any you’d like to add? Comment below!