One of the functions of the Department of Employment and Entrepreneurship of the Educational Group is to guide its students at the work level. Among other things, this work includes reviewing CVs and preparing for interviews, to avoid common mistakes and increase the chances of reaching the desired position. For many years, Lorena Cervantes provided help and advice to the students of the university institution.
His first piece of advice already debunks some myths: it’s not worth being ourselves. “Interviews must be prepared,” he assures us. While it is true that a certain naturalness is appreciated, the seeker must have a little mental script which does not have to detract from this freshness. In other words, “we can improvise” at certain times “, but without deviating from the subject,” says Cervantes. Preparing for the interview usually gives more “security”. In addition, it allows us to “showcase our strengths”.
A conversation about your life
In the end, it is about knowing as much as possible about the candidate’s life in about 30 minutes. Therefore, to “see if you fit” in the job, it is very possible that you are talking about any aspect of your life, not just at the professional level. The interviewer wants to identify your skills and abilities, so they will ask you questions not only about your program, but also about your “formative and even personal experiences”.
As long as you know what you want to talk about, it should be prepared, so that the speech is consistent at all times. In addition, it must be taken into account that the nerves eventually resurface, even in candidates with a lot of experience. “It’s like presenting a project to the boss”, compares Cervantes: “Even if you know it, you prepare it”.
And while investigators are aware of the trance you are going through, “brace yourself, take a deep breath, and get a good night’s sleep” are very helpful guidelines for combating these nerves. This can help you go to the interview “with more confidence”. It is also important to accept your weaknesses and deal with them “honestly”.
There will be times when these “flaws” come to the fore, but it’s not a good idea to deny or ignore them. Because this can lead “the recruiter to question certain aspects”, warns Cervantes. “What you need to know is that, even having this weakness, the candidate is able to find a solution and overcome it.”
Things to improve
To overcome these small obstacles, the candidate must analyze himself. And, if you have to show flaws, it is best to look for those that do not directly affect the task you aspire to perform. The most common mistake is “not knowing the company or position” you are applying for. This will lead the recruiter to consider “the real interest of the candidate”.
Another very common mistake Cervantes points out is not asking questions during the interview, which also shows disinterest on the part of the candidate. You should also be careful to relax as the conversation progresses, forgetting that you are not evaluating. “Too much confidence can lead you to be arrogant,” he says.
The first pitfall to avoid when preparing for the interview is to wander or doubt your answers. Clear and concise answers, without going overboard with details that are neither interesting nor practical. To recognize standardized weaknesses like “being perfect” etc. is to be banned. Of course, the candidate must be familiar with his own program. And be careful when you apply for several positions at the same time, because faced with the classic question “where will you see yourself in five years”, you can give an answer which does not go in the same direction as the position.
The first picture
The clothes that the candidate wears must adapt to who you are and how they feel, the company in which they want to work and the specific position they aspire to. “There is no such thing as the perfect outfit,” Cervantes recalls, and depends on each position and organization. However, there are “ground rules” to follow: Clothing and hygiene say a lot about a person.
For clothes and make-up, the coordinator chooses “neutral colors” and checks that the clothes are in good condition. You have to be comfortable but “show professionalism”, he therefore recommends “avoiding pointed openings or clothes that are too short”. And better “not to overdo it in the ornaments: less is more”.
Finally, it offers personalized advice that refers to the CV itself (keep it well structured and updated), or to the interest shown by the candidate “before, during and after the interview”. Find information about the company, the recruiter (if possible to know), the director of the department, etc … Also useful things like knowing the route to the meeting place, to arrive with at least 5 minutes margin. Also mute the mobile and do not play with it while waiting for the recruiter.