Do you dread interviews? They needn't be stressful occasions. The tips below have been put together to help to guide you in your employment search.
Aim to arrive at the company earlier than scheduled but don’t overdo it. Ten minutes is plenty but more than fifteen minutes may inconvenience your interviewer. If you're going to an town you don’t know you may want to drive to the interview location the day before to ensure you know how to get there. If you encounter bad traffic and know you're going to be late be sure to telephone ahead to warn the interviewer and give them the option to reschedule.
Look at the company’s website and read as much as you can. If you've been supplied with a job description and person specification ahead of time, then read this thoroughly. As the old saying goes: ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. That being said, try not to script answers to common questions, these can often sound acted and an interviewer may not find you genuine.
In general people find interviews extremely stressful. The old adage goes that you should imagine your interviewer naked, but sometimes this can be counter effective! The best thing you can do is to take the pressure off yourself; look at the interview as an adventure and remember that you're likely to learn something new and useful, even if you aren’t selected.
A warm smile goes a long way toward establishing a good first impression and rapport with the interviewer.
A weak handshake or lack of eye contact can make you appear uncomfortable and insecure. Put your best foot forward and be proud of who you are and your abilities.
You're likely to be asked to run through your career history, so it may help you to have a copy of your CV to hand to refer to dates and key duties. It's a good idea to take extra copies of your CV in case other members of the interview panel don't have a copy - you'll also get brownie points for being well prepared.
Find out the dress code of the organisation. You want your potential employer to be able to imagine you as a member of the company. Good grooming and professional appearance are important. Even if you know the office is typically business casual, a well-fitting suit makes an excellent first impression. It's better to be slightly smarter than the norm, rather than slightly more casual.
Prepare a few questions ahead of time to show your interest. This is your chance to turn the tables and get as much information as you can to ascertain whether the company will suit you professionally and culturally. Don’t forget an interview is two sided.
Sometimes it may be appropriate to take notes, or you make like to write down questions if you tend to get nervous.
Try to get contact details for every person who interviews you and send an email, or even better, a handwritten note to each one. So few people write thank you notes that this alone will create a fantastic lasting impression.
© CABA 2013