Well done on securing an interview!!
Selling yourself and your skills on paper is the hard bit. You now have the client’s attention and they are keen to meet you and find out a bit more about you and your experiences. Try to think of your ‘Interview’ as a ‘Meeting’. Remember it is just as important that you feel at ease with the company and what they have to offer as they liking you and what you have to offer.
Please see below our top Tips for a successful interview.
Interview Tip 1- Before the interview
- Make sure you know exactly where you are going. Plan ahead. If possible do a trial run. Leave in plenty of time. It does not matter if you are an hour early. Find the company and then go and get a coffee at a nearby café until it is time for your interview.
- Research the company. Know exactly what they do. Have a number of questions ready to ask them about the company and the post.
- Prepare notes. Take them with you. You will forget questions so have them written down in a folder ready to ask when the time is right.
- Find out before hand what parking is available. Do you need change for a meter? Is there free parking? You don’t want to be late because you can’t find a parking space.
- If you are a smoker do not have a cigarette just before the interview
- Make sure you are dressed smartly in a suit. Even if the company have a dress down policy it doesn’t matter. First impressions last, so look smart.
- Make sure you have a note or have memorised the name of the person you are meeting. Make sure you know how to pronounce your interviewer's name correctly.
Interview Tip 2 - The Interview
- Greet the employer with a firm but not too hard a hand shake and smile.
- Have some questions or a conversation ready for when you are walking to the interview room.
- If asked if you would like a drink ask for water. This will help with keeping a clear voice and avoid a dry mouth.
- In the meeting sit tall and keep your hands on the table or on your lap. Never cross your arms or slouch. Look confident. Remember you are interviewing the employer as well.
- Answer all questions truthfully. Do not exaggerate or tell little white lies. Be yourself.
- Keep eye contact with the employers as much as possible. Listen carefully to what is being said. If you don’t understand a question then just say so.
- Prepare yourself for tricky questions like ‘what are your strengths and weaknesses?’ ‘What is your greatest achievement’ is always a favourite.
- Make sure that you get the answers to all your questions. It is important that you come out of the interviews knowing exactly what is expected of you as a future employee.
Interview Tip 3 -The end of the interview
- Ask the employer if there is anything else they need to know about you.
- Make sure you have covered all your prepared questions.
You may want to tactfully ask the employer what the next stage will be.
- Another firm hand shake and friendly smile and thank the employer by name for their time.
- If you are parked on the company's premises, drive away and park up the road to make any phone calls or light a cigarette.
If you have been represented by an agent, call the agent straight away with your initial views on your interview. NEVER call the employer direct at this stage. The employer will be paying a fee to the agent for your representation and will want to communicate your progress through the agent.