An interview can be one of the most nerve racking things you can do. However, if you do enough preparation and follow this guide you will give yourself the very best chance of making a lasting positive impression and securing that job.
First impressions count so make sure you are smartly dressed and try to arrive five to ten minutes early. Make sure you allow plenty of time to get there, if you are running late for an unavoidable reason ring as soon as possible to explain the circumstances. Don’t ring ten minutes before or after you’re already late as this will reflect negatively and the employer will likely tell you to not bother coming at all.
When you meet your interviewers stand up and greet them professionally - ensure that professionalism remains in place throughout the interview. You will get a feel for the interviewer’s personality so try to respond to it – if they are quite relaxed, react in a similar way. Likewise if they are very rigid and serious, make sure you reciprocate in a serious manner. Whatever you do though, remain professional.
You are likely to be nervous, but don’t let that worry you. Firstly, employers expect people to be nervous and remember you wouldn’t be at the interview if the employer thought that you were not right for the role.
Remembering that the employer has already read your CV and wants you there should help calm your nerves. Also don’t forget that extensive research and preparation is key; the more prepared you are the less nervous you are likely to be.
Confidence is important as it demonstrates a strong and professional personality. Ensure you talk about yourself as a highly valued professional because that is what you are. If your voice or your answers suggest you are not up to the task the interviewer will be left with that impression of you.
Also, remember there is an important distinction between confidence and arrogance. Be confident in your ability and your answers but show some humility. Be honest about your strengths and identify weak areas by saying how you endeavour to overcome them and what you would like to learn.
Many people are unsure about asking their own questions, but it is important you do this. An interview is not just the time for the employer to check you out, it is a time for you to learn more about the role or the way the company works. Asking well thought out questions is also a great way of demonstrating your research and enthusiasm for the company.
Ask relevant questions that you genuinely would like to know the answer to. For example. a question such as ‘what is your average length of service’ is a great way to gauge employee satisfaction.
On the other hand try and avoid questions that make you sound disinterested. Whilst the opportunity may be a great stepping stone into other areas of the company, questions like ‘Is there potential to move into a different area?’ can make you sound like you have no enthusiasm for the role at hand.
Closing the Interview
Make sure you close the interview positively. Give your interviewer a smile, a handshake and thank them for their time. Express your continued interest in the role and let them know they can call on you any time if they have any further questions.
You may also wish to follow up your interview a few days later with a polite and professional e-mail which can be done directly if you have the contact details, or passed on through your recruitment consultant.