It's very important to remember that in an interview there are TWO people making a decision.
This is a time for you to find out as much about the job as the interviewer about you. The perfect scenario is that both parties decide it's a good fit.
- Know the name of the person/s you are meeting, where and when
- Leave extra time in case of delays on the journey to the interview
- If you are going to be late telephone ahead to tell them of the delay and your rough time of arrival - any delay may cause the interview to be cancelled
- Aim to be on time - ideally be in reception five to ten minutes before the allotted interview time, but no earlier than ten minutes early
- Turn OFF your mobile phone before you walk into the building
- Allow time for getting through reception, signing in and completing any security procedures
- An interview starts the moment you enter the building - be friendly, courteous and smile to all staff
- Research the company thoroughly, look at their website, memorise information about the companies past performance, achievements, future goals and progress, find out how many people they employ and how the company is structured.
- Know your CV and are be prepared for questions.
- Read the job description and understand what the interviewer is looking for.
- Plan out the types of questions the interviewer may ask and your responses - it is important to deliver your answers with confidence.
Interview - first impressions count
- Stand up when you meet your interviewer, offer your hand for a firm handshake, smile and greet him/her confidently with "Pleased to meet you"
- If meeting more than one interviewer greet them in turn and memorise their names
- Always look at and address the person asking the question to which you are responding
- If you get in a lift or are walking to an interview room try to make a positive comment, start building a rapport - being cheerful and positive makes a difference.
- Be well groomed, presentable and ensure you have on appropriate interview clothing.
- Your suit should be clean and pressed and shoes polished
- Men should wear white shirts and neutral ties
- Women should wear a smart dress or tops with trouser/skirt that are business like
- Do not wear excessive jewellery and body piercings
- Carry a minimum into an interview - a smart business folder/wallet containing any information on the company along with a notepad and pen
- Take a spare copy of your CV and offer it to the client at the beginning of the interview
- Good body language is vital throughout the interview - sit upright in your chair, keep your feet flat on the floor and your hands in your lap as this will minimise any displays of nerves
- Aim for good eye contact
- Answer all questions clearly and with confidence
- Being nervous is understandable
A standard interview will normally start with an easy question about your journey or an offer of refreshment. It will often move into general questioning about yourself and your career history. Provision of general information on the company and team, role or department can follow and then the opportunity for you to ask your questions.
No matter how well qualified you are on paper the interviewer is also interested in you and your personality. Talk about things you have achieved outside of work which demonstrates your capabilities. Show you are a team-player, committed and focused through an example that demonstrates it.
LISTEN to the question being asked. You may respond too eagerly without hearing or understanding the question properly. Before responding think about what has been asked and how you can best answer, drawing on the experience you have gained in your work or personal life. If you need time to think take a sip of water, remember you want a composed, confident response.
You can get carried away selling yourself that you fail to find out the things you need to know. A job is more than a list of criteria; it's about the environment, the company ethos and the team. Remember to find out not just about the job description, but everything else around it too.
Make sure you are enthusiastic at all times – even if you have reservations. Your reservations may be unfounded. Do not let the interviewer think you are uninterested until you have had time to consider the role after the interview.
It is important to ask questions to show your level of interest and how much you have understood about the role. Make sure you have prepared questions to ask. Do not ask about salary.
Questions could include:
- What training is on offer?
- Do you provide Exam support?
- How many people are in the team
- How would you describe the people/environment?
- Are there any opportunities for career progression?
- Ask the interviewer what will is their timeframe for finding a possible replacement?
- If you are interested in the job, tell them.
Leave the interview as you entered it – a very positive handshake, smile, thank them for their time and say that you look forward to hearing from them.
It is acceptable to follow up on the interview with a thank you email. This can be used to reiterate points made in the interview. Thank the interviewer for their time.