You’ve perfected your CV, polished your covering letter and now you’ve been offered an interview.
Whether you’re a complete novice at the start of your career or you’ve changed jobs several times over the years and consider yourself an interview pro, interviews are generally considered to be as pleasant as a trip to the dentist.
However, there’s no need to panic. Just follow these tips and you’ll be one step closer to your dream job.
Remember that the interview is a two-way street. For the interviewer it’s the chance to describe in more detail the job and the responsibilities you would be expected to take on and assess your ability to perform in the role. For you, it’s the opportunity to ask questions about the job and decide if you’d actually like to work for the company.
Do your research. Don’t just look at the company website, make sure that you also read the job specification/description for the role. What skills and strengths are they looking for? Be sure to review your CV beforehand so that you can highlight your positive points.
Dress to impress. That means no shorts and flip flops even if it is the height of summer. You might know that the company has a relaxed dress code but always make the effort for your interview – you can dress down once you get the job.
Be punctual but no more than ten minutes early. If you don’t know the area try and do a trial run beforehand to make sure that you don’t arrive flustered or, worse, late.
Make sure you know the full name of who you’ve come to see. If it’s a big company you’d be surprised how many people have the same Christian name.
Relax. It’s natural to be nervous and a good interviewer will take that into account. The best advice is to just be yourself.
Think about your body language. You want to create a good impression so make sure your body language is positive – sit up straight, make eye contact with the interviewer and don’t fidget. You want to make sure you’re remembered for the right reasons.
Answer all the questions to the best of your ability. That means listening to what is being asked so you don’t go off on a tangent. Give as much detail as you can without waffling and, if you don’t understand what you’re being asked, be honest and say so.
Prepare some questions to ask at the end of the process. Typical questions could relate to the company culture or the people you’d be working with NOT, at this stage, about the benefits you’ll be offered. Leave the questions about how much you will be paid and what your holiday entitlement will be until the interviewer brings it up, or until your second interview.
For more tips on getting one step closer to your perfect job, click here to download your free copy of my e-book ‘5 Steps to Job Search Success’.