So your CV has been perfected, you’ve sent it off to potential employers, waited…and finally secured an interview. Now comes the important part: impressing the interviewer and securing the job. You only get one chance to make a good first impression, so it’s important you get it right. Before the interview has even begun, there are a few ways in which you can prepare:
• Research the prospective employer. What is the background of the company? Do they have any current projects they’re working on? This will prepare you for any questions you may be asked about the business.
• Does the company use social media? Is the tone formal/informal? Knowing this can give you a good idea about the tone of the interview and the nature of the company; it may also allow you to get to know about the people who work there.
• Plan how you will get to the interview and how long it will take. Being prepared for any potential delays will mean there is less of a chance of you getting lost/arriving late.
• Prepare some answers for questions you might be asked. Questions such as ‘what are your strengths/weaknesses?’, ‘why should the company employ you?’ and ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?’ are fairly common.
Once you have prepared yourself, it’s time for the interview itself. With an average of 15-20 people being interviewed for each one position, it is very important to make a great impression from the minute you walk in the door.
• Aim to arrive around 10 minutes before the interview starts. This allows for any delays and shows that you are punctual. If for any reason you are delayed, always call and explain why.
• Show professionalism at all times. Don’t slouch in your chair or fidget. Answer questions with a friendly tone and maintain eye contact and a smile.
• Don’t sell yourself short. Be proud of your achievements, but don’t brag.
• Get rid of all distractions: turn off your mobile phone etc.
• Always dress appropriately: if in doubt always dress smart – even informal interviews require smart attire.
Attending a job interview is the final step before you get that all-important job offer, so it’s important you get it right. Follow these tips though, and you’ll be one step closer to success!