Don’t forget to confirm that you can attend. With all the excitement of getting an interview, it can be easy to overlook this rather important detail. Make sure you know where you need to go, as some companies have several sites and they may not be that close together.
Check what time you need to arrive and for whom you should ask when you arrive; there is nothing worse than finding yourself in a large reception area and having no idea who you need them to inform about your arrival.
Try and find out what the format of the interview will be. Will it be just one person doing the interview or will it be a panel interview with several people? Are they expecting a presentation or will you be given tasks to perform? If you have all the information in advance, you can build your confidence by practising and take away some of your nerves just by knowing what to expect.
Simply google by typing in “[where you are starting your journey] to [where you need to get]”. Google will automatically give you a selection of options. Click on the train icon which means public transport and it will give you various possibilities of how to get to your destination, with approximate times for how long it will take. Plan to arrive about ten to fifteen minutes early, so you don’t feel rushed and allow time for delays. Don’t forget to check out how much it will cost and make sure you have enough money for your return journey.
Research the company
Do your research. This shows the interviewer that you are really interested in their particular company, motivated towards working with them and that you have taken the time to find out about them. Look at their website and social media pages, see if there are any recent articles in the press about company developments.
It is estimated that around 55% of our communication is through our body language. When you are at the interview, you may say all the right things but if your body language says something else, then you may still not get the outcome for which you are hoping. Have a look at some basic positive and negative body language online to remind yourself of things to avoid and aspects to try and replicate.
For example, a firm handshake is positive but a limp and weak one gives a poor impression, however don’t go overboard and have a crusher grip either! Make eye contact with the interviewer to show you are interested and engaged but don’t just stare at them as this just seems creepy!
Crossing your arms across your chest is a closed posture so best avoided but having your hands open is more positive. Sitting in a slumped position can appear like you lack confidence or even show disinterest but sitting up right makes you look engaged.
Just remind yourself of the basics and if you know someone who can help, then have a go at role playing your interview. Ask the other person to point out anything they notice such as excessive fidgeting or not making eye contact. It can be fun and will help you feel more prepared and less nervous.
Questions, questions, questions
The most important part of getting ready for your interview is preparing your answers. The one thing you can be sure about is that you will be asked several questions. They are, of course, able to ask almost anything so you can’t practise every possible questions but there are standard questions that employers often ask.
These are just a few to get you going. Think about why the employer may be asking the question and what they are hoping to find out. They are not trying to catch you out! They want to find out about you and decide if you are the right person for their job.
When thinking about your answer keep this in mind, and then consider what impression you want to give and what your answer will tell the employer about you. Remember, you want your answer to show how you are suited to the job.
Don’t lie at an interview but you do not have to share you actual worst qualities or give them too many details about your personal life. Keep it relevant to the job in question.
REMEMBER – EEE when answering evidence based questions.
E – Example: GIVE an example & DESCRIBE the situation and your responsibilities in the circumstance
E – Execution: What did you actually do?
E – Effect: What were the outcomes from your actions?
For more practice with less standard questions, try some online virtual interview tools, such as Jobsite Virtual Interviewer at http://www.jobsite.co.uk/bemyinterviewer/
This offers a number of different personalities you can chose to ask the questions and a good range of questions to help you think about how you may answer.
And what do you want to know?
Always make sure you have a few questions for the employer. Have a few prepared and make sure you don’t ask a question that has already been answered through the interview, as it will seem as if you are not paying attention.
If it is an office or customer facing role, a jacket and tie may be appropriate. Make sure your clothes are clean, ironed and you have smart polished shoes. If you get the job and the dress code is more casual, you can always fit in afterwards.
Cover up tattoos and take out piercings for your interview. Right or wrong, some employers may be put off by this. Again, once you are offered the role you can always find out the company policy on such things.
If you have an extra copy of your CV for them, you look super-organised and it will help make a good impression. But don’t make negative comments about your observations!
Some places may want copies of certificates or identity, so make sure you are prepared and have these with you if necessary.
Make yourself a checklist of all the things you need to do before your interview and tick them off as you get each done. You can use the basic one on our website to help with the main aspects.
Now good luck and get that job!
Crea8ing Careers - Foundations for the future.