Links International’s Macau team was recently invited to speak in front of 50 final year students at the University of St Joseph about how to prepare for an interview, following on nicely from our previous seminar in January about how to write a winning CV.
Las Rodrigo, Head of Recruitment at Links’ Macau office, began the seminar by explaining some key points about interviews and the best way to prepare for them. In summary, these include:
- Practise – get as much interview practice as you can. Only by practising will you refine your story and improve your communication skills.
- Develop your own individual story – since you can’t put everything to paper, it’s important to develop the story that you will give the interviewer and highlight all your key achievements that make you stand out. Obviously be truthful with this.
- Keep it relevant – once you have developed your story, make sure it is relevant to the job for which you are applying. Including personal experiences where you have had to handle change or learned valuable lessons will impress an interviewer.
- Use nerves to your advantage – interviews are stressful and nerve-wracking, but you can use these nerves to help you perform better. Just make sure you breathe and take your time.
- Be prepared – research the company, do lots of practice interviews (see point 1) and of course plan the actual day well in advance (in terms of how you’re going to get there, what you’re going to wear, etc.). Remember, however, that sometimes it’s impossible to be prepared for everything, so do expect some surprise questions that might catch you off guard (see examples here).
- Ask questions – demonstrate your interest in the job/company by asking questions. Asking questions will show that you are keen, willing to learn and also assertive.
- Improve your people skills – these can be almost as important as intelligence, so be yourself, smile and communicate well.
After the lecture part of the seminar was over, Las invited three students to volunteer to be interviewed. Each of the students was very different, in terms of levels of experience, confidence and also career goals, so all three mock interviews highlighted different areas that each student needed to work on. It was a very interactive experience for the students and certainly good practice for them, as they are finishing their university degrees and starting to plan their future careers.
Should you need any specific advice about interview techniques and how to guarantee that your interviewer will ask you back for a second round, please do not hesitate to contact us.