- Choose an outfit that fits the dress code of the company.
- Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake
- Act friendly and self confident, make eye-contact
- Speak loudly and clearly
- Highlight relevant areas from your CV
- Ask questions about the position, company and any opportunities for development.
- Don't wear creased or dirty clothing
- Don't wear loud or distracting accessories such as sunglasses or a cap
- Don't be late but don't get there too early either - 10 - 15 minutes beforehand is OK
- Avoid rambling or talking for too long about something
- Don't interrupt the interviewer
- Don't speak negatively about previous jobs
What to expect at an interview
- ❖ Introduction – first impressions, handshakes, and meeting your interviewers.
- ❖ Overview of the role – this includes some information usually about the company, the role and what they are looking for in a candidate.
- ❖ Q & A Round One – the recruiting team will ask questions about previous work history, qualifications and motivations relevant to the role and company.
- ❖ Q & A Round Two – opportunity for the candidate to ask the interviewers further questions about the role, the company and their ideas about the ideal candidate.
- ❖ Testing – some interviewers will require a small test or task to be completed at some point in the interview, depending on the skills required for the role; always be prepared to do so at any point during the interview.
- ❖ Concluding the Interview – final statements or conclusions, handshakes and polite goodbyes.
- ❖ Follow-Up – when appropriate, sending a polite thank you email after the interview or following up with further questions about the role or position.
Confidence and style make for success with job interviews
Nerves and anxiousness can sometimes get the better of us when it comes to job interviews. No matter where or when your interview is taking place, in can be intimidating to be sitting across from people whose goal is to figure out whether you have what it takes to join their organization. Being an exceptional candidate is something anyone can do, if you are willing to put in the hard work.
It is not surprising that just about everyone gets nervous after being invited to an interview, especially since most people feel that it is hard to prepare for a situation that you just don’t know. While some nerves are good, staying calm and confident is essential from the moment you select your interview outfit to the first handshake as you greet the interview team. The best way to present yourself as just the right person for their team can easily be done with a few well planned-out preparations. Always make sure you know more about the company than what their website or job post might say. Utilise social media and look at the company and their employees on LinkedIn for example, and also find out any information about the organisation from sources outside the company like business reviews, journals or newspapers. Try and understand the organisation for their strengths and weaknesses, then place yourself there and question what you can bring to both. When you can envisage yourself as part of the team already, that confidence will shine for first impressions. Another great way to make sure your first impression is a good one is with the right interview clothing. Having already researched the company, you should have a good idea of what kind of dress code is expected at the office on a day to day basis and as such what you should wear to your interview – be it classic formal office wear such as suits and business shirts, more on-trend interview clothing or perhaps casual interview clothes are more appropriate. Whatever the dress code - always make sure your outfit meets the same dress standards of the organisation and, if in doubt, go for something slightly more formal to be on the safe side. Smart fitting shirts, classic trousers and blazers or suit jackets always demonstrate your professionalism and determination. Make sure you select your outfit well ahead of the interview so you can try it on and make sure the fit and style is just right for giving your best presentation. Finish off your outfit with professional accessories such as a classic pair of elegant heels and a smart satchel, laptop bag or handbag is a smart and tidy way of storing everything you might need for the interview.
Be prepared, and be focused in your interview
Every organisation will structure their interviews differently, so be prepared to do things in any order. This may include a skills test to see how you will work with a sample or situation that is common to the role, or a regular question and answer session around your CV. Prepare beforehand by taking practise tests online for some of the skills listed on the job specification or familiarising yourself with specific work techniques and theories that you believe you will be using in the role. When it comes to the one-on-one part of the interview, use this prepared knowledge to give succinct and informative responses but don’t rehearse them too much ahead of time. Being natural and composed is just as important as providing the right information. Some common questions you should expect include:
- ❖ Questions about the company and organisation to see how much knowledge you have about them, what they do, and their competitors.
- ❖ Specific questions about the role and what you can bring to it. How are you unique for this role?
- ❖ How you see the company. Can they invest in and trust you to work within their values and towards their goals?
- ❖ A review or assessment of your qualifications in regards to the position. What are your strength and weaknesses?
- ❖ Information about previous work roles and responsibilities. How do you respond to challenges and demanding situations?
- ❖ What are your long term goals, and how can they be achieved with this position and organisation?
While these are some more common questions, there are an endless amount of variations and questions you may be asked in an interview. When each answer balances the right information and a sense of personality, you are sure to feel more confident and keeping the experience a two-way process. Tone and expression are also critical, and make sure you are always confident, respectful, and focused on positive aspects – even when asked what are your weaknesses, keeping the right tone can give a strong answer. While the organisation wants to find the best candidate for the role, a job interview is also an opportunity for you to make your own assessment on the company and how it fits into your career plans, job requirements and desires. During the interview, be aware of how the company is presented to you, how you are treated by the interviewer and other employees and what your overall impression is of the company, its facilities and working environment – whilst first impressions may be wrong, they are often a good indicator of whether or not this is the right place for you. Don't forget – an interview is supposed to benefit both parties so make sure you have found out everything you want to know about the company and the role before you leave.
After the interview: The Follow Up
Towards the end of the job interview, it is common for the candidate to ask questions to the interviewers. Make sure you always utilise this opportunity to find out more about the goals of the position and dynamics of the organisation. An excellent question is to ask the company representatives to walk you through a typical day in the office. Be polite and friendly when the interview ends, but don’t force any information on how they received you. Follow up with a friendly email instead thanking them for the consideration in an unobtrusive manner to show you are motivated and open to communicating with them more. Always look forward to the next step after an interview and be confident about what you have achieved. With a bit of confidence and a few helpful interview preparation tips from this guide, it is only a matter of time before you are well on your way to a dream career!