Tips for how to ace an interview
Sanjana Rao, tech PR intern
We understand that interviews can be daunting, especially if it’s your first one, but we’re here to put you at ease.
If you’re applying to The Aspectus Academy, our London apprenticeship (or any Aspectus role for that matter), interviews are simply an opportunity for you to tell us about how great you are, and a way for us to get to know each other.
Here are our top five tips to calm interview nerves, help you feel prepared and, ultimately, ace your interview.
1) Research the job role
An important part of interview preparation is researching the job or apprenticeship you’ve applied for. Think about:
- What you’re excited about and why – consider if there’s a particular sector or element you’re looking forward to most.
- What your day-to-day responsibilities will be – if applying for a PR and marketing apprenticeship, you’re likely to be talking to journalists, brainstorming creative ideas, writing social media posts and supporting the team. If it’s an accounting job, it will be maths based, spreadsheets and thinking analytically.
- What makes a good candidate – think how you can perform the job well. From practical skills like writing or organisation, to personality traits. At The Aspectus Academy, we’re after drive, positive thinking, creativity and teamwork.
For more information on The Aspectus Academy, read our blog: “Everything you need to know”.
2) Research the company
Our second interview tip is also about research. This time, about the company.
A good place to start is the company’s website. You’ll usually find pages like ‘Culture’, ‘About’ and ‘Blogs’ which will introduce you to some people who work there and give you a feel for what the vibe is like.
Company websites are also the best place to find out what a business actually does. For example, Aspectus is a global integrated communications agency – meaning we do PR, digital marketing, social media, messaging, strategy and more! We also work with different clients, different sectors and have clients across the globe. Check out our ‘Services’ and sector pages online to find out more.
You don’t need to know absolutely everything, so don’t waste time learning obscure facts. But do make sure you understand what a company does, and why you want to work there.
3) Prepare answers to common questions
This is where your research comes in handy. Interviews are a free-flowing conversation, but you can generally bet on being asked certain questions, so prepare answers ahead of time. For example:
- Tell us a bit about yourself
- Why would you like to apply for this job or apprenticeship?
- What skills do you have that will help you in the role?
- What’s your proudest moment?
- What are you most looking forward to and why?
If you’re applying for our London apprenticeship, The Aspectus Academy, make sure you’re confident chatting around the questions on the application form.
4) Prepare questions
At the end of your session, interviewers will often ask if you have any questions for them. Asking questions proves that you’re passionate and genuinely interested in the job or apprenticeship.
You also need to know if this is the right fit for you, so use questions to learn more about the role, the company and the industry. Interview questions to ask include:
- What’s your favourite part of your job?
- How did you get into this industry?
- How can I prepare for the role ahead of time?
- What is the company culture like?
Think about what you want to know, then go for it! There’s no such thing as a silly question.
5) Prepare for the interview environment
In a world changed by Covid, it is important to consider the setting of your interview. If it’s online, make sure you can access the application (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet etc.) and you have the link to hand. Sometimes you must download an app onto your laptop, so make sure this is done before the day. You should also test your webcam, speakers and mic.
For the interview itself, try to find a quiet environment with stable Wi-Fi. This could be somewhere at home, or if you’re applying for The Aspectus Academy apprenticeship, you could do it at school.
If your interview is in person, you’ll need to figure out how to get there. Make sure to plan your journey in advance, especially if taking public transport as you never know what can happen!
Despite all this, sometimes things go wrong; if you’re ever unsure or struggling to get online/somewhere for your interview, let the interviewer know. For The Aspectus Academy, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With all this considered, the final thing to remember is to be yourself. Employers like to get to know your personality and they appreciate authenticity.
Interviews can be scary but thinking about it in a different way will calm your nerves – this is an opportunity to shout about yourself and reflect on all the amazing things you’ve done! By following these tips you’ll feel better prepared, now you just have to trust the process. You’ve got this.