So, you’ve polished your CV, applied for some jobs and received a call back from a recruiter about an interview or two. Congratulations! Job interviews do, however, make most people nervous, so it’s not unusual to feel a bit edgy or unsure about what comes next.
If you’re unsure how to prepare for a job interview, we’ve gathered the tried and tested ways to approach it for the best chances for success. These top interview tips will help you make a solid first impression – whether you’re speaking to someone on the phone, video or face-to-face.
You can never over-prepare for a job interview – it’s the best way to build your confidence and ability to clearly answer questions.
A good place to start is researching the employer you’re interviewing with. Check out the company’s website and social media pages to get an idea of its customers, industry, business goals and culture; all of which will help you understand how you fit within the organisation.
Next, get as familiar as you can with the job description and think about how your skills and experience align with the role’s duties and responsibilities (you’ll likely have done a bit of this already while tailoring your CV). Then, you can start practising how you’ll respond to some of the common interview questions that are usually asked.
Interviews often start with this type of question: “Tell me about yourself, and why are you interested in this role?” This is your opportunity to give them a short and sharp overview of who you are and the value you’ll add to the company.
Other questions you can expect in industrial and warehousing job interviews can include:
If you’re attending the interview in person, look up the address before the day of the interview, so you can plan your journey and work out how long it will take to get there. We recommend arriving 5-10 minutes before the interview is due to start, to give yourself time to get settled beforehand.
For phone interviews, pay extra attention to how you speak. A handy trick for sounding friendly is to use facial expressions, as others can actually hear the smile in your voice.
Ahead of a video interview, check that your internet connection is stable and that your device is working and fully charged. Take the time to familiarise yourself with the software you’ll be using to connect to the call, such as Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, MS Teams or GoToMeeting.
Find a quiet room where nobody can interrupt you, and position yourself in an area with good lighting and a clear background to avoid distracting the interviewer. We also recommend you have a backup plan before a video interview by exchanging phone numbers with the interviewer, just in case someone experiences technical difficulties.
Eliminating distractions is essential for any type of interview, whether by video, in person or by phone – so don’t forget to turn off notifications on your phone (and computer). Additionally, while you don’t need to show up in a full suit making a good visual impression is important regardless of industry, so make sure you look tidy and ready to work.
Once the interview has started, listen carefully to each question so you can answer it fully. As people usually speak faster when they’re nervous, remember to slow down and pause before each answer to give yourself some valuable seconds for preparing your response.
It’s important to regularly make eye contact with your interviewer and avoid fiddling with your hands – this can be quite distracting!
A major focus of job interviews is to discover how you’ve used your skills in your previous roles using concrete examples. Using the ‘STAR’ method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) can help you prepare your answers accordingly.
For example, you might be asked a question like, “Provide an example of a time when you dealt calmly and effectively with a high-stress situation”. The key to answering this effectively is to explain 1) the situation you faced; 2) the role/duties you were tasked with; 3) the action you took to resolve the situation, and 4) the outcome of your action. These steps can be used to answer any question that asks how you reacted to a specific situation.
Finally, at the end of the interview you’ll be given the chance to ask questions of your own. Asking for more details about what it’s like to work there (e.g. the team size, what employees do for fun) is a good way to demonstrate your interest in the position.
By now, you’ll probably be feeling relieved that the hardest part is over! To end the interview on a professional note, you can ask the interviewer what the next steps are afterwards, and when to expect a follow-up call or email.
Job interviews can feel intimidating, but you can make them go much more smoothly with the right amount of preparation and practice beforehand. Doing some groundwork will maximise your chances of a job offer.
Are you looking for more help with job interviews and landing your next Warehouse Operative, Forklift Driver, Packer or Cleaner role? Get in touch with our local team of industrial and warehousing recruitment specialists in the Midlands and South Yorkshire – we’ll help you ace your next interview and get the job!