Ash Pollard is best known as one of Australia’s most gifted home cooks. But underneath those signature spiral blonde curls, the television personality and radio-host has a noggin full of knowledge that she’ll be sharing exclusively with Be.
Over the next 12 weeks she’ll be sharing her top tips on how to tackle life’s trickiest situations— from what to do during an awkward encounter with an ex, to surviving a dreaded social media slip-up.
Thisweek, she’s telling us just how to nail that job interview.
I bet you’re probably wondering what I do for a job? Sometimes I wonder myself! Ha! I’m everywhere in the entertainment industry right now, making sure I keep my finger on the pulse. The industry is ever-changing and is a constant reminder that hard work pays off.
Before I was touted a ‘socialite’ on MKR, I was a successful corporate events manager in Melbourne. I loved my job but I felt something was missing in my life. Thus, I made the decision to jump on the MKR bandwagon to get a foot in the door.
But before I became an events manager, I sat through SO many job interviews until I found the role I felt suited me the most. So trust me when I say, if you’re prepping for that dream job right now – then I’m your gal!
The best piece of advice I can offer to scoring the gig you’ve always wanted happens before the interview.
It’s your cover letter—you need to nail it!
A lot of the time people re-jig a generic cover letter and send it out to a bunch of different companies, simply changing the business name as they go. Lazy.com.au!
Your cover letter and CV is your first point of contact with your potential employee, so you must make a good impression through this medium in order to get an interview. Make your cover letter stand out! Be personable, interested, informative, and to the point. Shine, dazzle, and wow them with you!
There’s no way I would employ someone who has written a lack lustre cover letter. It gives off all the wrong impressions.
Once you’ve snagged that all-important interview, try not to freak out. You’ve got this! The key to surviving an interview is to be prepared.
I know it sounds totally obvious, but you really do need to know your stuff. Preparation is the key to a confident job interview. Nobody wants to be stumbling their way through a series of awkward questions when they could breeze through it with the right homework.
Start with the basics. You need to go in knowing the company’s background, being familiar with who you’re potentially going to work for and who your interviewer is. Go armed with questions to ask during the interview (that’s always impressive).
Next is dress code. With all the cramming you’ve done on the company, you should have got a feel for what their culture and work style is. What to wear to a job interview can be stressful. I mean, the right outfit is important!
These days there are a lot of workplaces that don’t enforce formal dress, which is great if you’re more into casual attire.
Even if you know the general vibe of the company is relaxed that doesn’t mean you can throw on a pair of jeans for the big day— it’s always better to start smart.
Guys, if it’s more a corporate vibe, a suit and tie will be your best bet. Girls, perhaps opt for a knee-length skirt and steer clear of plunging necklines. And polish your shoes, always and forever.
When your interviewer greets you, be sure to shake their hand firmly and with conviction (that applies to you too, ladies). There’s nothing more off-putting than a limp handshake.
It sounds almost silly mentioning this, but you’d be amazed how quickly manners can slip when nervous or under pressure. You may have had a really sh**ty morning, but forget about it—don’t bring that in with you. Be warm, open, accepting, and polite.
If you are feeling a bit jittery with nerves, try to pause for a moment before you speak. Take a nice deep breath! Don’t go blurting out the first thing that comes to your mind. After all, you were given two ears and one mouth, so take the time to listen first before you speak. It’s a really great way to keep your nerves in check and calm yourself down.
Don't freak out if you find yourself in silence for a few seconds. Own the space and hold your interviewer’s attention. Silence is golden sometimes! Have some questions about the role up your sleeve if you have time to fill.
When the inevitable tricky questions pop up, don’t panic. Just be honest, open and positive about what you think your answer might be. Often there is no right or wrong answer.
Honesty is the best policy in some cases, however this isn’t necessarily so when it comes to divulging in an interview. I’ve interviewed people in the past and have cringed as they’ve spilled the ins and outs of their previous workplace drama. That is a big no-no, troops!
The other thing you should try to be aware of is your body language. I’ve worked with a life coach in the past and they taught me that mimicking is a good sign.
There’s a positive physical and psychological influence with the way people communicate through mirrored body language. Obviously you don’t want it to look like you’re playing out charades in the interview but just make sure your body language isn’t closed. I.e. no folded arms and certainly no fiddling.
My final tip is around remuneration. I know this subject can be super awks for some people but I don’t think it should be. You have the right to know what the salary is for the role you have applied for and there is no harm in asking. If anything, it shows you’re serious about the position.
So good luck, go get ‘em! I’m sure you’ll be offered that dream job in no time.