Maxwell Stephens

How to Tackle Interviews

Once upon a time, there was a young man who appeared across the street of an elderly couple’s house every morning and was seen digging a trench. This young man was new to town, and after a few days the elderly couple went out and asked him why he was digging this trench every day. He replied, “The job I’m interviewing for today is for trench diggers and I just want to be prepared.” The next day, he got the job.


While you may not need to go out and dig trenches every day to prepare for a job interview, being unprepared is unacceptable and almost always ends with the same result…no call back.


Having a job interview is one of the most stressful things we will deal with as adults, and the more prepared you are, the more confidence you will gain and the better your chances will be of landing your dream job.


“Bear” Bryant, the legendary football coach for the University of Alabama once said, “If you’re still learning the game 5 minutes before kickoff, plan on a loss.” The same goes with preparing for your interview. You need to spend adequate time well in advance of your interview to make sure you feel comfortable.


Some tips to help you be more prepared include:


› Practice answering questions in front of a mirror – take note of your facial expressions and your eyes as these are big things the employer will be watching


› Conduct practice interviews with friends and family and tape those sessions so you can see what the employer sees in you


› Go over your CV again and again, being 100% familiar with what’s on it and how you will respond to questions about it


› Give yourself extra time for your appearance before you leave for the interview and make sure you smell good and look good, and this will help you feel good

› Ensure that you leave extra time to travel to the interview – nothing will wreck your confidence more than showing up late because you got stuck in traffic or a bad storm


Brush up on your knowledge of the company you’re interviewing at. There is no greater interview-killer than being unable to answer basic questions about the company you want to work for.


The people who land the most new jobs are the ones who put in the extra time and effort to be fully prepared for their interview. They’re the ones who take this opportunity seriously and don’t neglect even the smallest of details in their preparation. If you go into your next interview fully prepared, the employer will notice and who knows what will happen after that!


Peter Forshaw, Managing Director, Maxwell Stephens

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