Unfortunately, you can’t study forever (unless you become an academic, of course). You will eventually have to graduate and face the terrifying real world. And the real world has bills and responsibilities which means you’ll have to put your degree or diploma to good use and get a job.
Once you graduate, the job search begins. This means sending out your CV, agonising over cover letters and, finally, going for that nerve-racking interview.
The interview is the scariest and most important step in the job application process. So, here is a bit advice.
Be aware of your body language
It all starts with a firm handshake. You shouldn’t squeeze too hard, but there’s nothing worse than a limp handshake when you’re trying to make a good impression. Also ensure your body language is open and receptive throughout the meeting. Don’t cross your arms or angle your body away from your prospective employers. These actions come across as defensive. It’s important to be conscious of your actions when you’re being interviewed.
While you can’t prepare for everything, there are common questions that regularly come up in interviews and you can always rehearse your answers. Practising in front of the mirror may seem silly, but it works because you can see your body language at the same time. Avoid using “um” and stalling when you’re speaking. You should also think carefully about your answers and not just tell them what you think they want to hear.
Don’t try be someone else. If they hire you, they’ll be expecting that person full time. Remember, interviews are about seeing whether you are a good fit for the company and whether the company is a good fit for you. Let your true personality shine through. Talk about what business schools in Johannesburg you attended, but also talk about your interests and hobbies. Whatever you say, be completely honest. Never lie in an interview, no matter what they ask you. If you’re caught lying it will look incredibly bad.
The interview is the last obstacle before the company decides whether to hire you or not. So, how you come across is incredibly important. Be conscious of what you’re saying – both physically and verbally.