“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”
“One secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.”
“To be prepared is half the victory.”
“Dress for the position you want, not the position you have.”
There is only ever one opportunity to make a first impression and the key to interviewing successfully is preparation and research.
Before the interview:
- Research the company – use the company’s corporate website, press reports and other on-line research tools
- Research the role – ensure you have thoroughly reviewed the job description and any additional notes or information your consultant has provided you with
- Review your CV – the interviewer may focus purely on your background, so be prepared to discuss and justify your career and academic choices
- Prepare for both technical and competency based questions and questions about you. As well as your technical knowledge and ability to do the job interviewers will be assessing your “soft skills”, communication skills, team fit and future potential
- Research the interview location – and time your journey, making allowances for transport delays
During the interview:
- Arrive on time. If you are late for reasons outside of your control, do not ignore the issue – apologise!
- Dress appropriately. Do not assume that because a company is “dressing down” it is acceptable for you to do so for interview purposes. Taking your appearance/image seriously means you are taking the interview and the company seriously.
- Be aware of your body language. Up to 55% of your “first impression” will be made by non-verbal means; lean slightly forward in your chair to ensure you appear engaged with the interview, don’t fidget and make sure you maintain eye contact with the interviewer.
- Be confident about yourself and positive about your skills, the role and your ability to perform it and the company and your motivation for working there
- Listen to the interviewer and answer the specific question they ask. If you are unsure, request clarification.
- Give comprehensive but concise specific examples of your experience, achievements and strengths. Make sure that you use examples that you can directly relate to the role.
- Be honest – if you do no tell the truth you run the risk of getting caught out – honesty is the best policy!
- Ask questions – this demonstrates your genuine interest in the role and the company and also allows you to clarify anything of which you are unsure
- Never be negative about your current or previous employers – if you can’t say something nice about someone, say nothing!
- Always reiterate your interest in the role and the company at the end of your interview
After the interview:
- Phone or email your consultant with feedback promptly so that this can be fed back to the company