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Interview Tips for Beginners

You may not have done many job interviews if you are in an early stage in your career. For this reason we will look at some fundamental elements of the job interview for you to prepare for and give some simple advice that will help you avoid making some basic but common mistakes!

 

 

Know your CV

You might think you know your CV perfectly well, after all, you did write it. And it took a while to draft, edit and re-edit until you got it perfect. If you’ve scanned through it tons of times looking for errors and areas to improve, you probably think you know your CV like the back of your hand! But you have to understand more than the words on your CV. In an interview, the story of your CV is important to know. The strengths, weaknesses that your CV reveals and the overall story of you as a potential employee is something you have to be aware of. If you know this you can preempt questions that will be asked in the job interview so you need to prepare how you speak about important areas like your work experience, education and achievements.

 

Prepare answers on common questions

This brings us to the next point – prepare answers to common interview questions. If you are relatively inexperienced in job interviews or haven’t had an interview in the career you are applying for, you will have to do some research to identify these questions. Thinking up answers on the spot will not look good. Interviewers will undoubtedly prefer if you have prepared and can communicate your best answer to their questions. One thing you can depend on in a job interview is interviewers will always want you to show evidence of certain traits such as the ability to work under pressure, when you’ve had to manage multiple tasks or how you dealt with a problem. You can look up how to answer competency based questions here: https://www.jobs.ie/job-talk/its-time-to-love-competency-based-interviews/

 

Research the company so that you can tailor answers to company

Remember, in the job interview, you are selling you and your skills to the company. In sales, it is essential that you know what your customer’s needs are. Doing some research into the company and the industry will help you tremendously towards understanding what they want their new hire to do.

 

Ask questions

If you spent a few hours prior to your job interview doing research on the company and industry, you will have naturally come across things that have peaked your interest that you can ask about. Asking questions in the job interview is extremely important as it shows that you are interested in learning more, you have studied the company and you are willing to ask more questions as an employee.

 

You’ll have done a great job interview, if you can discuss your CV strongly, prepare answers to common questions, tailor your answers to the company’s needs and ask specific questions.

 

Three Q’s commitment to Helping Job Seekers

Our recruiters volunteer their time and expertise to job seekers every month by conducting mock interviews and follow up calls with our CSR Partner Jobcare. Have a look at our CSR strategy which puts focus on donating our skills and time to helping unemployed people find work: http://www.3qrecruitment.ie/csr_corporate_social_responsibility/

 

Also in our Starting Out In Your Career series, we discussed how to write a CV when you have very little work experience, getting experience when you don’t have enough and what employers want in an employee.  You can read these here:

What Employers Want in an Employee: http://www.3qrecruitment.ie/what-employers-want-in-an-employee-and-why/

CV Writing When You Don’t Have Experience: http://www.3qrecruitment.ie/cv-writing-when-you-dont-have-work-experience/

How To Get Work Experience When You Don’t Have Enough: http://www.3qrecruitment.ie/how-to-get-work-experience/

CV Writing When You Don’t Have Work Experience

CV Writing When You Don’t Have Work Experience

 

If you’re relatively new to working or have little relevant experience for the position you are applying for, you will have issues when writing up your CV. The problem you’ll have writing your CV is that you could accidentally expose and highlight the weaknesses in your CV. I’ll be talking about things you can do to show your strongest elements of your CV and decrease the exposure of your CV’s weak points which could be lack of relevant experience or lack of relevant education. Here are some steps you can take to create the best CV you can.

 

Identify your Strengths and Weaknesses

It’s crucial you know what you want to draw attention to and what you want to be less visible. Employers can overlook a hole in your CV if you have sold them on your strengths. With this in mind, figure out what your strengths are for the position you are applying for so that you can optimise for your best attributes whether it’s the transferable skills you learned in other industries or that you have a degree and completed online courses that will help you with the job you are applying for.

 

Arrangement of CV

You can change the order of areas in your CV to put more focus on your strengths. Why put work experience first if it’s a weak point? You certainly shouldn’t put it last but knowing that employers might disqualify your application after only reading your work experience, you should put some of your strongest qualities before it.

 

 

CV Content

The format style of your CV will decide how much attention each area of your application gets. If you’re low on relevant experience, you could limit your work experience area to a concise description of the transferable skills while also providing evidence of problems you faced, the actions you made and the outcomes of your actions. Keep the best elements of your work experience and remove irrelevant information to save space for the stronger areas of your CV. If your strength is the education and courses you’ve completed, you can assign more space to this area so that you can give more information on the content of those courses. This allows you to tell the employer why your education will ensure your success in the position you applied for.

 

Personality

It is generally true that your experience in the industry is the most important element of your CV for employers, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to get the job without the required experience. And if you do have the experience, why not also compete against other applicants more effectively by showing your personality in your CV. Anyone can say they are hardworking, well organised with great communication skills, so you’ll need to show off your personality and character by displaying your awards, achievements or volunteer work.

 

Overall, it is likely that you will struggle somewhat trying to get a job without the required experience. You shouldn’t expect to get the job within a handful of job applications. Even with an optimised CV for your situation you will have to persevere to break into the industry and get that entry level dream job you desire!

 

We at Three Q Recruitment believe in giving people a chance so you can go on our website where we update our vacancies daily. If you have experience in hospitality, there may be a junior recruiter position in the Three Q team for you! Apply by sending your CV to cvs@3qrecruitment.ie

 

If a lack of experience is becoming a clear problem that is getting in the way and tactful CV Writing will not help you get the interview, you should read our blog on how to get experience when you don’t have enough: http://www.3qrecruitment.ie/how-to-get-work-experience/