Your interview can be an intimidating prospect, but with some preparation and planning it needn’t be an overwhelming challenge. Interviews can range from conversations lasting a few minutes to several formal meetings, sometimes with more than one interviewer. In any case, the interview is not to be feared, but instead regarded as an opportunity to demonstrate your strengths, aptitudes and enthusiasm.
Do your research
Before the interview, it is a good idea to gather information about the company that has the position vacant and try to relate your experience to the job spec.
Dress for success
At an interview it is extremely important to look, act and dress professionally as you won’t have a second chance.
Ideally, a business suit should be worn – although check with your recruiter for indications of the office culture.
Clean shoes, clean finger nails and clean, well-groomed hair are important.
Research has shown that an interviewer forms their impression within the first eight seconds of meeting a candidate. The remainder of the interview is either spent confirming this opinion, or turning it around.
- Enlist friends or colleagues to ask you sample questions
- Practice making eye contact
- Video record your practice sessions - pay attention to body language and verbal presentation
- Eliminate verbal fillers, like “uh,” and “um.” Practice using positive body language to signal confidence
- Handle logistics early - have your clothes, CV, and directions to the interview site ready ahead of time.
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Anticipate likely questions
To get to the motivations and working style of a potential employee, employers often turn to behavioural interviewing, an interviewing style which consists of a series of probing, incisive questions. This may sound a little intimidating; however with a little preparation you can feel confident before the interview.
During the interview
A firm handshake with a positive smile will do wonders when you first meet your interviewer. Some small chit chat from the reception area to the interview room will also help. These are the vital seconds in making your first impression.
Body language is also very important in your interview. Come across confident and relaxed. We suggest sitting up straight, leaning forward slightly and always maintaining good eye contact with the interviewer or panel. Looking disinterested will not get you the job.
After the interview
Following your interview, remember to give immediate feedback to your recruitment consultant. This needs to include any areas you felt you may have fallen down on - perhaps you have a nagging doubt about a specific answer you gave or forgot to highlight a certain valuable skill or experience.
Your consultant can cover this for you in his or her call to the employer. If you were interviewed directly, send a thank you email, expressing enthusiasm and keenness to join the company. Sent in the evening or the next day, this email can be an important factor in employer’s decision-making process.