Interview tips from Natives

By adamrowden, 20 Jul '12 at 09:34

Maximise your chances of getting a job offer by following the interview tips. Whether you're looking for a ski job, a summer job, or seasonal work in the UK, Europe or further afield, use these tips to make the most of your interview.

Now, everyone knows that going in for an interview can be daunting, especially if it is for a role that you are desperate for. So take your time to prepare and make sure that you are making the most of the situation. Once you have arranged an interview, there is nothing else standing between you and a job in the mountains. So, you don’t want to miss out on one such a great experience because you made some simple, avoidable errors in your interview.

Here are some great tips to make sure that you nail it...

1. Be on time
Practice getting to the venue to see how long it will take. Public transport may be useless, the traffic may have been heavy, but however reasonable your excuse is, it won't affect the fact that your chances are reduced if you're late. And remember - you never get a second chance to make a first impression - unless you re-apply for the role and claim to be the your own identical twin. But this never works as you will no doubt be found out during the paperwork process, and besides, no one likes a liar, so just make sure you get there on time!

Aim to be early - you can always find a nearby cafe/shop/pub to wait in, you can take a newspaper or a Game Boy, or you can even practice your interview technique on the stranger sat opposite you. . And if the worst comes to worst and you are going to be late, then ring in to tell them (make sure you have contact numbers with you).

2. Be prepared
Look at the employer's' website and learn something about the company before you attend your interview. Feed them the opportunity to talk proudly about something positive you have found.

3. Write down and practice possible questions
Writing questions and answers down and practicing them with someone will make it easier to remember when you get to the interview. And avoid sounding as though you assume the job is yours. You don’t want to come across as an overconfident goon.

4. What are your weaknesses?
Try to find an area of your experience/skill that is currently lacking. An interviewer will appreciate your candour - as long as whatever you disclose can be easily remedied. So, try and think of something that is a weakness, but can be improved upon easily. If you say something like ‘My weakness is that when I get drunk I am extremely abusive and have been known to throw things.’ then you are likely to be written off immediately. So be honest, but not too honest.

5. You never get a second chance to make a first impression
SMILE! Dress professionally in simple business attire. Just because you are going to be working in a ski resort does not mean you should wear Oakleys and trainers to your interview. And don't forget a firm handshake and to maintain eye contact - without glaring!

6. Be honest
There's no point lying about your background and/or skills. If you get caught, or even manage to get out to resort and then get found out, you can be sure you won't be around for long! Job interviews are about matching needs - if there isn't a good match, then chances are that the job won't work out for you.

7. Check your CV for possible gaps
Make sure you know how you are going to explain any time gaps on your CV. For more information about writing the perfect CV click here.

8. Talk about specific achievements
Interviewers like to know how you felt about about a particular success. Some will ask for specific examples of things you've done that you're particularly proud of, how you solved problems, or how you learnt - and improved - from difficult situations.

9. Don't talk too much
Communication is a two-way thing so give them a chance too.

10. Prepare a sample menu plan
If you are applying for a catering job then take along a sample menu plan. By this we mean a starter/main/dessert combination for six days, ideally with a vegetarian option. Think about the balance of nutrients and how the colours will look on the plate.

11. Take a spare photo & CV with you
Your interviewer won't be expecting it so you'll impress them. It also helps them remember you after the interview.

12. Be enthusiastic and positive
Don't criticise previous employers, particularly within the industry. Focus on positive achievements and views.

13. Be on time
Did we mention that already? It's really important, so we've mentioned it again.

And finally, don't give up!

The harsh reality is you won't be offered every job, however perfect you think you may be for it. Usually it's because the interviewer was completely blind to the talent that stood before them. However, on the odd occasion where that's not the case, ask for feedback. It's invaluable for improving future results. Ask politely if they can give you any feedback for the future - there's a job out there for you somewhere.

Best of luck!!!

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