This part of Work45+ has tips about:
You have a story to tell
It’s a great achievement to get an interview, and something that should give you confidence.
Many of the tips in our web page called “Applying for jobs” can also help in your interview.
Your interview will give you a better opportunity to show you:
- have the skills required
- understand the job
- have personal attributes and experience aligned with the mission and purpose of the organisation.
In the video below, career coach Anne Kirby-Fahey and HR specialist Dianne Underwood recommend thinking about your experience and attributes as your unique story.
It helps to practice
It’s not unusual for applicants to be interviewed by two or three people. It’s also possible that you’ll be asked to attend more than one interview. And your second interview might be with someone who wasn’t at your first interview – possibly someone more senior.
If you worry about being interviewed, it might help to join a group like Speaking Made Easy (for women) or Toastmasters. They’ll give you opportunities to build your confidence by practising in front of other members and getting their feedback.
It’s quite likely at least one of the people who interview you will be a younger person. If you haven’t had that experience before, practising with a younger person you know might help you feel comfortable.
You may need to do a video interview
Video interviews are becoming increasingly common. If you’re not yet familiar with tools such as Skype, Zoom or Google Hangouts, ask your employment service provider to assist you or visit one of Libraries Tasmania‘s computing and technology courses in online collaborations/communications.
You may be able to use a smartphone or tablet. If you’re using a computer it will need to have a camera and a microphone either built in or attached.
Make sure you find out well in advance what conference provider will be used – Skype, Zoom etc. – and whether you will be talking live to an interviewer or answering pre-recorded questions. Both formats are common today.
Websites such as LinkedIn, Seek and Indeed have detailed help sheets, so do have a look at those before you begin.
Dressing well can give you confidence
It may seem self-evident but it really is important to dress in neat, comfortable clothes appropriate to the organisation and role. If you do this, those interviewing you won’t be distracted by your clothes. More importantly, clothes that make you feel good will probably give you confidence, which is something we know employers and recruiters value.
If you’re a woman living in or near Hobart and you don’t have the financial resources to buy the kind of clothes you need for an interview, you can contact Amanda French at Dress for Success Hobart by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Amanda can supply work-appropriate clothes, mentoring, access to career development workshops and a supportive network to help you on your path to employment.
Another good tip to help make your interview go smoothly is to visit the venue before hand, so you know how long it will take to get there, the best route and the easiest transport. On the day, leave yourself more time than you think you’ll need, in case something goes wrong. The last thing you want is to arrive puffed and red-faced because you had to rush.
It’s good to ask for feedback
It’s reasonable to expect to be advised of the outcome of your interview, whether or not you are successful. Hundreds of people might apply for a job, but only a few will be interviewed, so there’s really no excuse for an employer or recruiter not letting you know the outcome.
If someone who interviews you doesn’t tell you when to expect to hear the outcome, it’s okay for you to ask this question before you leave.
It can be dispiriting if you don’t hear back for a long time. It may mean you’ve been unsuccessful, but it’s possible there are other reasons for the delay. For example, it may take time to contact referees and to get approval to make an offer.
If you feel you did a good interview but were unsuccessful, remember that you may have been one of several applicants who were well suited to the position.
After interviews, some employers keep a register of applicants who were suitable but unsuccessful. If you’re still interested in working for the organisation, make sure your contact knows you would like to be considered for future positions.