We get it—applying for a job is always going to be a nerve-wracking affair. You might have the right life science qualification under your belt, and you might have found the perfect animal research position to apply for, and dusted off your finest get-up so you look like the epitome of a young professional…
But your palms are still sweating, your mouth is dry, and you’re wondering why you can’t seem to remember your own name right now. First of all—deep breaths! Your interviewer wants to get to know you, so shirking off the pressure to be an alternative is the first step to interview success.
Controlling your nerves aside, there are also a few practical things you can do to help your interview go as smoothly and positively as possible. Here’s what you need to know:
Know your stuff about the company
It might sound obvious, but brush up on the organisation you want to work for. Preparation is key to interview success, so be ready to answer questions about why you want to work for them, how you meet the job specification and what else you believe you can bring to the table.
You can’t do any of this if you don’t know about the organisation—research is key!
Use your social media wisely
In this modern day and age, being social media savvy is all part of your preparation, too. That doesn’t mean you need to be a digital marketing expert, just that your social media needs to represent a positive and professional person.
So make sure your Instagram isn’t overflowing with that messy Malaga holiday you went on with 18 of your university mates. Your prospective employee doesn’t need to see you bleary-eyed, dancing with glow sticks and drinking from a fish bowl at Dave’s Disco Bar…
Remove any photos that make you look irresponsible, up your security settings, and make sure you have an up to date LinkedIn account.
Tell stories about yourself
And no, that doesn’t mean the Malaga stories, either…
But you need to be ready to answer questions about yourself, and back up your answers with examples. So if you’re asked about working in a team, or in a high-pressured deadline-driven environment, or your organisational and planning skills, then you’ll have a bank of stories to showcase your skills, attributes and abilities.
Ditch the ego
You’ll hear a lot about being confident in a job interview, but be careful you don’t bolster up so much that you veer into what appears to be arrogance…
Forbes recently wrote an advice piece on what interviewees should stop doing, which included accidental entitlement. Forget “I’m going to interview them as much as they interview me” or challenging the interviewer on negative things you’ve read/heard about the company (though hopefully that’s nothing).
Essentially, know your place in the interview room. Be energetic, enthusiastic, knowledgable—and humble.
Be ready for a video call
During these coronavirus times, you may find yourself being asked to do your job interview on a platform like Zoom, instead of face-to-face.
This might help you feel a bit more comfortable if you’re nervous, but remember you need to maintain absolute professionalism, even if you’re sitting there in your bedroom.
Set up a smart background (no one needs to see your washing), dress appropriately and try not to fidget. And keep a ‘cheat sheet’ on your desk—anything that will help you. One of the perks of a Zoom call is that you can have some notes/prompts in front of you and no one will be any the wiser…
Are you looking for the perfect animal research position? You’re in the right place. Agenda Life Sciences specialises in a wide range of life science and animal research jobs. View our job vacancies to find out more about how we can help you kick-start your career.