Researching the company, the role, and the people you could be working with is essential ! Get surfing the web for as much useful information as possible. The first point of call is their website – get familiar with exactly what the company does, it’s aims and objectives, as well as it’s people. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook for more intimate and up-to-date feeds. Search the web and news articles for further nuggets of useful information. Preparation is key in ensuring you’re ready to showcase your impressive knowledge of their business, and prove that you know exactly why you want to join their team. Remember, the interview is like an exam, which, if you want to pass, must study for!
You need to also research interview questions you could be asked. It’s also a good idea to think up some yourself. Jot them all down along with your responses. Think the answers through thoroughly, making sure to give full but concise answers that provide considered and positive tones. Pre-empting and studying for potentially difficult questions will prepare you for a successful and painless interview!
Think about and really take in your experiences, skills and attributes. It’s important to know yourself, where you’ve been, where you’re at and where you want to be. Understand your strengths and weaknesses and think on the challenges and successes you have had and what you have gained from them. Study up on your CV and determine which aspects you would most like to draw on in the interview that give you the most confidence, and that relate most to the role or company values and needs.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
As well as knowing all you can about the company and the role you’re interviewing for, you must also know who’s actually interviewing you! If you haven’t already been informed, you should make the effort to find out – make a call to the company and ask. Look them up on the company’s website and Linkedin and get to know more about them. Not only will you immediately be at ease when meeting them, you will feel more informed, empowered and will find it easier building a rapport early on.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
Now that you’ve done all your preparation, its time to get in some serious practice! Recruit friends and family to be your sounding board and get some useful feedback on the quality of your answers and performance. Practice in front of the mirror so you too can check yourself. Run through your responses fully until you’re feeling clear and confident and the answers roll off your tongue!
ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVES
Focus on the positive at all times in the interview. Remember, you’re being judged not only on your experiences and abilities, but also on your attitude. You’ll be asked potentially negative questions so you must ensure, whilst answering honestly, you provide a positive response – for example, when addressing any weaknesses, be sure to offer improvements and solutions to them. Speak well of your previous work experiences and employers, despite your instinct to offload!
DRESS TO IMPRESS
Always look top-to-toe smart and tidy for an interview. You’re being judged on your presentation so put in the effort. Think about your outfit, put it together beforehand and be sure it fits well and you feel comfortable in it. Even if you think the industry and role doesn’t require smart dress, remember it’s the one day you are always expected to look your best!
Get to the interview 15 -30 minutes early – allow for any delays in transport, finding the building, or any check-in processes the company may have. All these unforeseen gremlins may very well cause you to be disastrously late. Plan your journey, your outfit and set out early. When you get there, don’t announce your arrival to Reception until 2 minutes before your interview time, but instead use the time you have to sit in the waiting area and soak up the atmosphere or visit the washroom to neaten up and compose yourself.
Yes, this is a big deal. You’ve made it to the interview, it all rests on this! But remember, they like you enough already to want to meet you and they are rooting for you, hoping you are the one to join their team. Focus your breathing and your thoughts when you arrive early, run through calmly in your mind your most enjoyable, significant and successful experiences for a confidence boost.
I SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE
Be observant and take in your environment – not only will it help to ground you and settle your nerves, it allows you to engage more with your interviewer by commenting on interesting things you see. Showing an interest in the setup of your new home-from-home will be a big benefit, and you’ll take some useful insights away with you.
LET IT SHINE, LET IT SHINE
Yes, that little light of yours has a place to glow. Consider the interview like an audition – it’s your chance to perform and sell yourself in your best light. Radiate your most positive personality assets and warm them to you.
The most important things to remember are to appear friendly, confident and enthusiastic. Smile, maintain good eye contact at a comfortable level, speak clearly and calmly, walk with confidence – be aware of your posture, sit and stand straight. Don’t fold your arms and fiddle with your hands, instead open and loosen up and use your hands firmly and decisively.
Leave the interview as confidently and enthusiastically as you entered it. Leave a lasting positive impression. Thank each person present at the interview with direct eye-contact, a smile and a firm handshake. Don’t be afraid to ask when you should expect to hear from them about their decision. Send thank you notes, or emails if you’ve been provided with addresses, to each of your interviewers, with a genuine and positive comment about the day.