For many candidates the thought of an interview can sometimes be daunting, from what to wear to what questions to ask. Whilst we don’t have a magic wand to make you amazing at interviews, there are some techniques that will help. The fact that you have been invited to attend an interview in the first place is very encouraging and suggests that the employer has seen something in your CV that they like. The goal of the job interview is to show the employer that you have the background, skills, and ability to do the job and show what an asset to the company you will be. One point to also remember is that the interview isn’t one sided. This process will help you to determine whether you like the job and if the company is a good fit for you too.
For any interview, preparation is key. Do your research, practice your answers and think of questions to ask at the end of the interview. Below are some tips to help you prepare for the interview.
Do Your Research
- The majority of organisations will have a company website or Wikipedia page where you can find out a lot about the company history.
- If you know the interviewers name, you could search for them on LinkedIn. (Maybe change your security to be private so that they don’t know that you have read their profile!)
- Take a look at the company’s social media, it is amazing what you can find out about an organisation from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Plan Your Outfit
- Decide on what you are wearing the night before. Lay the outfit out and try on anything you haven’t worn in a while to make sure it still fits!
- Avoid bright colours or over powering perfumes.
- Do not chew gum during the interview or smoke beforehand.
Know your CV inside out
- It may have been a while since you were in that previous role. Step through the role in your mind and remember your duties and responsibilities.
- Think about the reasons why you left.
Organise your portfolio
If you are taking a portfolio of work, practice talking through your work. Ask yourself why have you included each page, what does it demonstrate about you?
Don’t be late
This is a big no no! There is no worse way to begin an interview than when you are flustered, plus first impressions counts and you will have to be exceptional in the interview to claw this back. Add 20 minutes onto you expected journey time to give you time to deal with any issue on route. If you are early wait in a nearby coffee shop or the car park.
Don’t be too early
If you have followed our earlier advice hopefully you arrived at least 20 minutes early. Collect yourself in the car park, a coffee shop or even wait around the corner. Don’t report to reception too early, this can be as much of a negative as arriving late! With ten minutes to go before your interview you should report to the organisations reception.
A Confident Handshake
When the interviewer comes to collect you for the interview it is inevitable that they will introduce themselves and shake your hand. If you aren’t used to shaking hands, practice your handshake beforehand with a friend.
Make small talk with your interviewer on the walk to the interview room, you can often find out how many other people they have interviewed. If you ask them how their day is going.
The interviewer will pay attention to non-verbal behaviour. Look the interviewer in the eyes, sit up straight with both of your feet on the ground.
Thank the interviewer for taking the time to see you at the end of the interview