• Ar. Stephanie L.P. Chan

Top 10 Tips to rock an Interview

Hello again. So I’m sure most of you are aware of the current unemployment rates and difficulties in securing a job nowadays. Info shared by a friend of mine, from Universiti Teknologi Brunei UTB proves its true!


For 2016 from UTB
Unemployed degree HND grads = 36.8%
Unemployed for as undergraduates = 20.8%,
This is within the first 5 months of the tracer study.

It is an alarming rate for our youth. Thankfully our company had the opportunity of looking to hire recently and had a few CVs sent to me via our channel in Politeknik Brunei. Interviews were lined up and I was excited to meet these fresh grads, the youth of today.


Remeber, your interviewer is a busy person. Filtering through countless applications your CV will fade into white noise. Everyone has the same qualifications and certs with similar skill sets. Impressions count more than the piece of paper you submitted. More often than not, the interview holds more weight than your actual skills and may be the deciding factor on whether you land that job!


Based on my experience the past week, I thought I’d compile a list of top ten tips to rock an interview. Some of the tips may be more design related but most are general tips. Read and learn my young padwans!


TOP TEN TIPS TO ROCK AN INTERVIEW


10. ALWAYS BE AT LEAST 10 MINS EARLY.

It shows you are serious when you’re on time. Your interviewer does not care that you couldn’t find the location or was stuck in traffic. A responsible potential employee would find out in advance where the venue was and plan ahead their travel route. Don’t walk in to an interview huffing and panting just because you couldn’t find parking and had to race into the hotseat. BE ON TIME!


9. BRING YOUR PORTFOLIO

If you’re applying for a design job, your portfolio is everything. Someone came in without a CV and without a portfolio. Asked why, the answer was “I don’t have it” Immediately this leaves a bad impression. Without your work how can any interviewer gauge and assess you?! This is pretty standard yet deserves a highlight on this list.

ALWAYS BE PREPARED!


8. ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST

Your portfolio speaks worlds about you and your capabilities. Make it look good, a little bit of effort goes a long way. We can spot if you’ve spent time on the layout and presentation. If you love your work, we can see it. Someone came in with a slack printout of their work and used a pencil to label them. Unprofessional! How you present your work is an indicator of how you’ll perform in the company. And no employer wants shoddy work. PUT EFFORT IN YOUR PORTFOLIO


7. I DON’T KNOW IS NOT AN ANSWER

Speak with confidence and let that shine through. Nervous? Just fake it! Your interviewer may ask you a series of questions. Rehearse these before you come in. Answer well and answer right. “I don’t know,err maybe, not sure ah” , all these will land your application at the bottom of the pile. ACT SMART BE CONFIDENT


6. A WISE MAN ONCE SAID “NOTHING”

In this case, nothing could be further than the truth. Where there’s a chance, your employer might let you take the helm and it’d be your turn to ask questions. Don’t say “I’ve got nothing to ask” Use that to your advantage by asking something. Anything even! It shows that you have a keen interest in the company and the interviewer.

DON’T STAY SILENT


5. KNOW YOUR WORTH

This is a standard question almost every interviewer will ask you. How much is your asking salary? Again, do your research. Find out what others in the same field with your same qualifications are being paid. If you don’t know what you’re worth, don’t expect the company to pay you that. Always ask higher than what you want or think you deserve. It beats starting low! BELIEVE YOU DESERVE WHATEVER YOUR ASKING FOR


4. THINK ABOUT YOUR GOALS

An interviewer may ask you about your future plans and your personal goals just to get a bit of insight on what kind of employee you’d make. Answer with confidence and don’t give the mainstream reply like “I wanna be a good architect, I wanna be the best designer, I wanna be the best that I can be” . These are all roll of the mill answers we’ve heard over and over again. Structure your sentence in detail so it tells us something about you and your desires. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE


3. KNOW YOUR BOSS

Do some research on the company you’re applying for. Nothing looks better than an applicant who is familiar with the company’s needs and marries that with what he/she can offer. Google is God nowadays, you can find most anything there. Can’t find info, ask around. Brunei is so small bah, you’re sure to come across someone who knows something. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!


2. GIVE MORE THAN REQUIRED

This is a plus point that works in your favor. An applicant came in ready with his iPad and animation on cue. Everything was ready at the tap of a button. Organized, driven and shows initiative. It leaves a good impression and if you don’t get the job, trust me you’d be on the top of their recommendation list to other companies. SHOW INITIATIVE


1. LEAVE AN IMPRESSION AND FOLLOW UP

Your interviewer may be scheduling lots of candidates. Don’t get lost in the crowd. Wear something eye catching, say or do something, whatever it is to make sure they remember you! If you don’t get a call back, follow up. It shows interest and sincerity and its never a bad thing to check in a week later. Who knows, your persistence might just pay off.


BE MEMORABLE


There you go, 10 tips for rocking an interview. Best of luck to all of you trying to land your dream job


Post first appeared on Ask An Architect

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