*Disclaimer – please note that the following hints, tips and advice do not directly relate to any specific university and are all my own thoughts in relation to interviews*
So it has come to that time of year when university interviews have become the topic of most applicants conversations. The word ‘interview’ for most people is enough to send you running for the hills, never to return to human civilisation ever again (me included). However, interviews are part and parcel of life and one of those things that you just cannot avoid (no matter how much you try). I have had a few interviews in my lifetime with one of them obviously being for a place to study midwifery. I have therefore decided to put together a little list of advice for any prospective applicants that may have upcoming interviews in the hope that some of the advice given will help prepare you for interview.
- First things first, it is SUPER important to dress smart for any interview, no matter what kind of job you are going for (unless they specify otherwise). I personally think that if you are well presented it shows that you have made a conscious effort prior to the interview which will always go down well with whoever is interviewing you. Quite literally dressing to impress.
- Have some background knowledge about the university/course/job you are applying to. This is key as it shows you are interested, passionate and willing to learn. Having some background knowledge will generally help with the interview as a whole, if you know your stuff it will make you 10x more relaxed instead of turning into a waffling mess.
- SMILE, SMILE, SMILE. Even if things are going absolutely catastrophically, it is important to remember to smile because in an interview situation the way a candidate displays their emotions says a lot about them and their personality. Interviewers are humans too and know how nervous applicants can be.
- Body language. SO IMPORTANT. Open body language is a sign of engagement, willingness and genuine interest, so leave the crossed arms and legs at home! It’s also good to observe the interviewers body language, as this is a sure fire way to tell if you are keeping their interest or boring them to tears.
- Put a personal spin on it. If you get the chance, its always good to add in a bit of you as a person to the question you are asked. In midwifery interviews, questions are often very specific to midwifery so if you are able to think of a time that you did something that related in any way to the course/job you are applying for then tell the interviewers about it! Interviewers love hearing about your personal experience as it makes YOU stand out from the crowd.
- Think of questions to ask the interviewer if you get the chance to ask questions. And make them interesting! Do a bit of reading around the trust you are applying to or the university you are applying to and ask them a specific question about something you have found. This shows that you have done a bit of background reading which always gets a big thumbs up.
- Try and hide those nerves. I know it is so difficult to do, trust me I seem to resemble the colour of a beetroot whenever I am in an interview situation (helpful hint – polo neck tops and shirts buttoned up to the neck cover a multitude of heat/nervy rash sins). But if you can fake it till you make it and believe that you are as cool as a cucumber then this will work in your favour.
- Group interviews – SO DIFFICULT. How can anyone possibly get themselves across when surrounded by other prospective candidates who might literally jump over the table and fight you for a place? It’s all about striking a good balance. You have to be a good listener as well as being able to speak out, this is crucial in group situations. Also it’s so lovely when people include others in the discussion or praise the comments that someone else has made, this shows you are a team player and at the end of the day that is an essential aspect of midwifery.
- Make sure you have read the course information or job information for what you are applying to as this will probably contain exactly what they are looking for from a candidate.
- Have a look at what is topical at the moment (in relation to midwifery) and try and bring that into your interview. This again shows interest and wider reading!
- And last of all, just be yourself (as cliche as that sounds)! It is so important that the interviewers see the real you and if that means that you do become a beetroot coloured sweat blob, then at least you have been genuine and not tried to be something or someone that you are not.
I hope that some of these tips may be helpful and if anyone has any questions at all regarding interviews or anything else posted within the blog then please feel free to drop me an email (see details in contact section).