From my personal experience, I believe my first ever interview experience went well but there were things I believe I could have definitely improved my next time. The job I applied for was a freelance writing job based in Chicago, which meant I had set myself up for more uncommon questions to be asked such as the subject of a work visa and about the American culture.
For example, I believe my personal aims of improvement would be formally introducing myself to my interviewer. This could show that I was in control of the situation and truly interested in the job role and took the interview seriously. I also believe I need to improve being comfortable with long periods of eye contact as I can find this difficult as an anxious person. I want to be able to show that I am not nervous in an interview setting as again, this shows control over my situation and that I have the ability to react calmly in a difficult situation and gives the illusion of a more professional persona.
However, I believe there were things that I did well in my interview that would make me memorable and make my interviewer be interested in considering me for a second interview. For example, I appeared very friendly and approachable which meant I smiled and did not seem too forced while paying attention to my feedback. My body language also helped as I was sat up straight while leaning slightly forward to look interested in what my interviewer was saying to me while nodding and smiling throughout. Although these are small gestures, I believe they can make a great impact on showing your personality and interest in the subject to your interviewer.
Throughout the interview, from start to finish my interviewer gave me feedback on both my personal performance and how I reacted to questions given to me. For example, my interviewer asked if I had an example of my published work and even though in a real interview I would be more prepared, I believe having an example or a portfolio of work would set a good impression of myself to the interviewer and show that I am serious and passionate about my work and that I am good enough to be getting published work.
My interviewer also commented on my C.V stating that as I tried to fill my page more, the font was rather large and looked quite intimidating to read. She also added that the positioning of my paragraphs meant that the important information and useful information which would help to increase my chances of a second interview were last on my C.V. She suggested that making my font smaller would make the C.V look more professional and not as harsh looking. Also, by swapping over the placement of my work experience and grades I have received I can show that I have had published work and experience with journalism and freelance writing which gives a better impression of my skills whereas by putting my grades first, it gives the impression I am still being taught and am not very experienced in the field.
My interviewer believed that it was good that I had researched and planned some questions ahead of schedule for my interview so that I could be prepared. This showed that I was an organised person and am able to prepare myself in advance. By having the knowledge of the company and questions to ask it showed that I was invested in the company and took the job opportunity seriously as I was committed to the company already. She also added that the way I took the time to think of an answer to questions that I was asked showed I was in control of the situation and could handle pressure which would be a good skill if I was to get the job.
Additionally, the process of my interview I believe went smoothly and better than I believed it would go. These are the steps I took to prepare for my interview and during session.
Firstly, I started researching interviewing skills and tips such as arriving early, eye contact, bringing a portfolio and asking questions. I also then did my research on the company once finding my job advertisement. It was difficult to find a good amount of research that I could find useful to be as the job advertisement was actually set in Chicago. However, this meant there was many more diverse questions my interviewer could ask me such as knowing American spelling and if I would be getting a work visa for this job. These questions meant I was off guard and allowed me to develop an answer on the spot, giving evidence I had given thought to everything. Furthermore, as this was not a real job interview I didn’t dress for the occasion or bring a portfolio but I know how to be prepared for a real interview and would know these are to be remembered as essentials. In addition, I arrived early for my interview to show punctuality and to also prepare myself a final time for my interview. While taking the interview I kept a notebook and pen on hand to make notes on feedback and also to read the questions I had for my interviewer. I have learnt from the experience that I would most likely ask more than one question to make myself seem knowledgeable of the job and company to my interviewer. Finally, she looked at my C.V and covering letter and they were both the first I had ever written. Although she gave me pointers to make my C.V better (stated previously) I believe for my first ever C.V, I am proud of having some work experience related to my field and how I formatted my paragraphs.
Overall, I believe my mock interview experience went better than imagined and really set me up for the real thing in the future.