Interviews can be scary for some, but don’t forget this is not just an opportunity for you to present your best self, but also for the employer to impress you.
Here are some tips to get you off to a successful start:
Preparation is key
Think about the types of questions you will be asked, examples of how you excelled in prior roles, what you are most proud of in your career, and even a time when things didn’t go so well, and what you learned from the situation. If you have any career gaps, how can you best explain them?
Research the company, and the market. Set-up Google alerts to keep up-to-date with company news, and follow their social media accounts, this will tell you a lot about their messaging and where their focus lies. Familiarise yourself with the job description and what they are looking for in a candidate, and make the connections with your skills and experience.
Be on-time / early
This is your first impression, being late or rushed is not an option. Leave plenty of time to travel to the interview, leaving yourself enough time to gather your thoughts, grab a coffee, or run over your notes one last time. Your nerves will thank you for it!
Listen carefully to what the interviewer is asking you, and be specific in your response. Although you have prepared your answers, you will need to adapt them accordingly. Take your time, there’s no rush. Be open and honest.
Don’t talk too much
Whilst it’s good be passionate and articulate, don’t forget to take a breath occasionally and let the interviewer speak! Maintain eye contact at all time.
Use a breath freshener
If possible avoid smoking, strong food, garlic, cheese or drinking strong coffee immediately before an interview. And definitely NO alcohol! Don’t chew gum. A quick spray of breath freshener won’t do any harm either.
Body language is so important. Make eye contact, speak slowly, don’t slouch or lean on the table, don’t cross your arms or look down at the floor. This is a professional yet sociable encounter, so be amiable. Remember not to speak ill of former co-workers, employers or colleagues; avoid any negativity.
Don’t forget a firm handshake at the start and finish too.
Ensure your social media accounts appear professional; candidates are often turned down because of a disorderly Facebook profile picture or post of a recent stag/hen weekend. These things are best kept private!
Aim to be the best dressed person in the room! Wear smart attire; well fitting, ironed and most of all clean! Men should wear a dark suit and tie and smart shoes. Professional and well groomed. Women have a few more fashion options but the sentiment is the same. Avoid wearing bold patterns, too much make-up, and wear smart, comfortable shoes.
Wrapping it up
Prepare several questions to ask the interviewer, some will be covered during the interview so you’ll need a back-up if that happens.
Thank the interviewer for their time, and confirm your interest in the role and the ‘next steps’.
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