Think of unique experiences that have had an impact on your life and don’t be afraid to talk about your achievements or areas where there is room for improvement.
Companies don’t expect you to know everything about them however they do expect you to know enough to show you are interested in the role. Avoid criticizing previous employers or colleagues, focusing on bad feelings or giving excuses about negative experiences – try to focus on the positives you have taken away from these experiences.
Be poised. A firm handshake, good eye contact, sitting up straight and avoiding nervous habits such as finger tapping and giggling all help to ensure you come across professionally. Stick to the facts. If you’re asked a question and stuck for thoughts, it will become obvious if you don’t tell the truth. If you need to, refer back to your resume or some notes you have prepared.
An interview is an opportunity to confirm whether this is an organization you can see yourself working with. Think about all those questions that you haven’t had answered during your preparation, and come armed with one or two which will allow you to leave the interview in a better position to make an informed career decision.
Remember – most people who are interviewing you have been in your position at some stage recently and understand your nerves. Relax, speak clearly and enthusiastically about your experiences and skills and let your personality shine.
Drafting your CV
What to Include:
Objective Statement: While you see objective statements on many sample resumes, they are not required. Objective statements should be clear, precise and succinct. They should make use of specific job titles and specific phrases describing the applicants preferred working environment.
Profile: Many people replace the objective statement with a profile or qualification highlights section that highlights the “soft skills” that do not always make it into resume databases. The profile is a sort of summary of the resume itself, highlighting the applicant’s most impressive skills, abilities and accomplishments.
Education: Name and location of institution, dates of attendance, type of degree, area of study, and special awards. You may include CGPA information if important to the specific position.
Work Experience: Name and location of company, dates of employment, major accomplishments on the job, major responsibilities, name and contact information of direct supervisor, skills acquired. Include paid and volunteer positions (if necessary).
Additional Training or Workshops: if you’ve attended specialized training courses, seminars or workshops, be sure to list these as well (depending upon relevancy).
Skills: Things you can actually do (as opposed to generalized skills – better to let an employer know you have leadership skills from reading your work or training history rather than telling them you have “leadership skills”). For example, software you may know well, systems you may understand, etc.
Referees: You will be required to provide 3 referees one of which should be an academic referee. The other 2 could be a work referee if you have had a chance to gain some work experience, a mentor or someone who knows you well.
Ensure that you get permission from the individuals first before including them as your referees on your CV.