This tiny colourful app has given me a lot during these last couple of months. Late night laughs, dances that make me trip over my two left feet and some of my favourite content creators.
But what I did not expect was for the app to help me slowly accumulate a wealth of career tips and techniques that surprisingly improved my interviewing skills and landed me a graduate job during a decade high in UK unemployment rates.
In June, I started my job search post-completing my degree and my for you page started to reflect the increasing worry I had about securing a graduate job.
One morning after about 20+ rejections, I received an email inviting me to interview for an organisation. Nervous and slightly worried about my social skills which had gotten worse since lockdown began, I started to create an “interview script” for myself based on the notes I had taken from career accounts on the app.
In the TikTok career world two things are key to portray in an interview, warmth and competence. And only in that specific order.
Below are examples from my script:
The first question on my script was the typical – “Tell me a little bit about yourself” – and I created a response formulated using the Past, Present and Future method given by TikToker @ZachWeiss. He suggests highlighting how your present ventures have led you to applying for this particular role and how this particular industry is connected to your future.
One question I found difficult to answer positively was the “what is your greatest weakness?” but with the help of a few videos I was able to create an effective answer that combined a genuine weakness of mine with the steps that I have taken to help support myself in overcoming them.
When it came to behavioural questions such as “tell me about a time when you dealt with/experienced/managed etc.”, in answering these I used the STAR method (situation, task, action and result) to highlight my past experiences and personal achievements. I made sure to prepare the stories I wanted to talk about before the interview and made sure I had a range of them that I could recall at a moment’s notice.
I then created a “what to do if” category in my script. These were some responses to times when I would blank or struggle to answer. In response, I wrote down the phrase, “I am really excited to be talking to you and must have lost my train of thought. Could you please repeat the question?” and rehearsed this until it was my go-to statement when I began to panic.
This technique came from a video in which the creator stipulates to make sure you reframe “nervousness” as “excitement” and the use of a positive affirmation instead of the typical negative self-talk will actually make you feel more confident and come across as more capable and happy to be there.
Similarly, if the interviewer asked me a technical question that I had no idea about such as “what is [random marketing term/tech software/admin processing system]?” I created a response that showed that I am willing to be open about what I don’t know but that I am willing to learn – “[Name] I have absolutely no idea what [thing] is but I’m really curious and interested about what it is if you are willing to explain it to me.”
If they explain it to you, one content creator highlights, the interviewer is now investing time and resources into you which increases the chance of interview success.
The last part of my script was dedicated to the final answer in any interview – “Any questions?” It is a cardinal sin to enter an interview without questions for your interviewer, I learnt very quickly on. And many accounts offered sample questions to use in interviews that would show capability and interest in the organisation’s work. A few of them were:
- What are the biggest challenges the company is facing and how will this role help to address them?
- How has the team managed the transition online and what core values have supported you during this time?
However, the best one [and the riskiest] agreed on by many career professionals on the app is the question “Do you have any hesitations in my ability to fulfil this role?”
This is referred to as a closer and will give you a good indication as to where the employer stands and will force them into revealing their opinion of you. It also helps to address any issues the employer may have had regarding anything you said in the interview.
However, be very careful as some employers may see this as too assertive and the interview may end with a bad impression. However, it is called a closer for a reason and if you are willing to take the risk, it can bring you great reward.
If you found this article interesting, go and follow these TikTok accounts for more information and career support, and hopefully bag your dream job: