You've gotten through to interview stage, congratulations! That’s the first hurdle overcome. Now it’s time to make sure you are correctly prepared so you can be sure to make the best first impression and impact at interview.
Preparing for the interview is as important as the interview itself, as the saying goes fail to prepare, prepare for failure! The best preparation for any interview, and a step people often forget, is to review your CV and know your experience and how it ties in to the job you are interviewing for. Too often people mix up dates or companies and it can throw their concentration for the rest of the interview or can cause an interviewer to questions the authenticity of their CV. No one can remember everything they have achieved over the years but by doing a mental run through of your past experience you can remember key projects you worked on or particular achievements you are proud of, which saves you getting caught on the hop when asked.
Research the company and industry. While this might seem like an obvious suggestion, research of the company and the role that you are interviewing for will go a long way. A frequently asked question in interviews may be something along the lines of – what do you know about the company / position / industry. You may think this an obvious route of questioning and a bit redundant but all companies want someone who is keen to work for them and who has done their homework and demonstrates their knowledge and enthusiasm for the opportunity to work for them is often what brings a candidate over the line.
What to wear? This is surprisingly a question that still gets asked a lot and part of the interview some candidates can fall short on. While we are living in a new age of interviews and the format is often not as conventional as days gone by first appearances do matter and knowing someone made the effort to dress as sharply as they can will contribute to your interview, so business smart dress is still the recommendation.
Your mannerism, experience and rapport building are important factors in an interview of course and by no means should you financially burden yourself for an interview by breaking your budget on smart wear. Affordable options are available out there and borrowing a tie / shirt / blazer could make all the difference.
Stay in control. Nerves hit us all, it isn’t unique to you – so don’t think that way. Nerves are a good thing and push us to perform our best once we don’t let them take over! Being prepared and having knowledge of the company, their personnel and the interviewers themselves can settle nerves. Be confident in your ability to do the job and that will shine through.
The first few minutes are key. You can have great success in an interview from the very beginning and there are a few key elements that will ensure you start off on the right foot.
Arriving for an interview can often be a daunting task in itself, while being early is recommended and nerves can carry us to be as early as possible take your time when arriving to the interview centre, you should be no more than 10 minutes early. Arriving too early can be just as off putting for an interviewing as arriving late. Speaking of being late – if you happen to be running late that’s okay, don’t panic. Interviewers understand this can occur and you won’t do yourself any favours letting it throw you out of sorts. A quick courtesy call to explain is enough.
When you arrive make sure to be as focused and calm as you can. Being engaged during the whole process with the interviewer be it a smile, firm handshake or eye contact are some factors you can make sure to be aware of.
Remember – you only get one first impression, make it count!