Advice for Candidates Getting A Job and How to Approach an Interview

By Dominic Chapman / October 31, 2017

Advice for Candidates Getting A Job and How to Approach an Interview

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.” – Steve Jobs. Here we will share with you our tips on how to search for a job, how to strengthen your job application and how to prepare and carry out a video interview. Your great work is only a step away.

The Job

Start your career somewhere – any experience is a good experience.

Searching for the right job is challenging – there is no easy solution or quick fix to landing a job, let alone the dream job. Often, it becomes one of those ‘settling’ situations where the need of an income overtakes personal goals and aspirations. If anything is learnt from this blog, let it be the fact that this is ok. As important as it is to have a career in your desired sector, it’s more important to get yourself on the ‘professional ladder’, no matter what job that is. No experience is a bad experience. There are many skills that can be learnt from all sorts of jobs, and it is these essential skills, as well as the experience, that most companies will look for in potential employees. Say the employer has two candidates – one of them with no previous work because they couldn’t work where they wanted, and another who, like the first, hasn’t landed a prefered job, but has instead worked to gain as much as they can from other companies. Who will they employ?

There is more than one approach to finding your new job.

Times have changed – it no longer takes sifting through a newspaper to find an advertised job to apply for. There are a few different approaches and methods you can take to find your new career, so try not to limit yourself to just one.

Nowadays, naturally, job hunting has been taken digital, with a large number of innovative websites designed for exactly this purpose. Websites like LinkedIn are designed for professional interaction, with job listings as a part of their service. Other websites such as Totaljobs, Monster, Cv-library and Reed are created solely for the job hunt itself. If your time is precious, like so many of ours are, there is always the option to sign up to an agency which will take a lot of the stress out of your hands. If there is a certain company you would like to work for, make sure you frequently check their website as roles may be advertised on their career pages.

Social media presents plenty of work opportunities. With a target reach of no limits, and with personalised advertising, job vacancies will pop up right before our eyes whilst we’re scrolling through social platforms. Either this, or companies will push advertise or post vacant roles to reach a different audience than that of agencies/ LinkedIn users.

A job application is the first impression an employer will have – make it stand out.

Your job application is the first impression that every employer gets off you. From the style of writing to the content within, an application is make or break for your consideration for the role. For every job opening, a company is most likely to receive tens, if not hundreds of applications, therefore, to have a chance of securing the job, you need to make sure yours stands out. Usually, a job application will consist of two parts: a CV and a cover letter. If your CV and cover letter drones on with the same, generic material as everyone else’s, the chances are it’ll be thrown in the bin.

Knowing what is appropriate is the first step to a successful application. If you are applying for a creative position, let your CV reflect that creativity. They won’t be impressed by a word document with long stretches of text. On the other hand, if you are applying for a role that requires a more serious tone, a loud colourful CV probably isn’t best.

When it comes to the tone of voice, personality is key – we cannot stress this enough. Employers are not looking for a machine; your personality is what makes you an individual, so let this shine through your application. We’re not advising you crack a joke on your CV, but simply define your personal goals, interests and hobbies in a tone that will interest the reader, not bore them.

The Interview

A successful interview is a well-prepared interview.

No amount of research for an interview is too much research. Research the company, the role and even the interviewer if you can! The employer will expect you to have covered as many bases as you can about as much as you can, after all, how badly do you really want the job?

At the end of most face to face interviews, the interviewer will ask if you have any additional questions. It’s sensible to have a few questions pre-prepared. These questions could be about the founding of the company, about the role, or even something you’ve always wondered about the product. Having questions ready gives off the impression that the company can help you as much as you can help them; a two-way relationship is a healthy start to a new role.

Strong video interviewing will only get better with practice.

Your first video interview is bound to be ever so slightly awkward, so the trick to overcome this is to practice. We don’t mean to sound cliche, but practising really will help you achieve a greater video interview, and a better interview means a higher chance of securing that job. Practicing by doing real video interviews isn’t terribly efficient; every interview you do should be a good one, so try to find alternative ways to get there. We have found practising on our own, or with a friend is the most helpful way to achieve this.

Have your friend (or whoever) write some generic interview questions on some cards. Film yourself turning over the cards for the first time and answering them on camera. This will help you review your reactions, your thinking time and your body language to make any adjustments as necessary.

For further tips on how to take a great interview, check out our step by step blog post.

What to wear? In the wise words of Dizzee Rascal, ‘fix up, look sharp’.

Again, first impressions make a significant impact, so make it a good one. No matter what role the interview is for, you should make a considerable effort in the wardrobe department. This is the case for both face to face and video interviews.

How one dresses speaks volumes about their character, so if it means going out and buying smart attire for an interview, do it. For men, a suit is always a safe bet. Unless the job is creative – in which case a smart casual attire is perhaps preferred – a suit will give the impression that you mean business, and are serious about the role in question. The overall appearance of an interviewee should be tidy – this includes hair. Brush your hair, tuck your shirt in and wear deodorant; you’re good to go.

For women, a dress suit, skirt suit or trouser suit will do the trick. Switching up your shirt for a blouse is a subtle way of adding character to the outfit.

We hope these pointers will lead you in the right direction to landing a job. Don’t forget, whether it’s your dream job, or just a filler, all experience is good experience. If you have any other queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and ask… knowledge is power!