1. Do your homework
You may have sent your applications to a number of tailored companies. Now is the time to research more about the organisation you so desire to be a part of, to remind yourself why you are a fit for this company, what are their values that resonate with you? Have they made the headlines lately? These information is readily available on the company's website and it is important to spend a bit of time, learning what you can about this particular organisation
2. Through the interviewer's eyes
This is a time to go through your CV, cover letter, job description and application form [we always advise you keep a copy/photocopy for yourself]. This helps to remind you of the work that you have put into the application so far and more importantly, why you have made it thus far. Look through your application process and ask yourself why you are suitable for the role, how you can demonstrate you have the desirable skills as described in the job description and what you have learned from each role you had secured in the past.
3. Dress the way you want to be addressed
It is important to make a good first impression as you approach the organisation you are about to be part of. Pay attention to your outfit, ensuring they are clean, well ironed, no button missing. It is better to play it safe and to be too smart than to appear somewhat casual. Also, pay attention to your nails, hair, your teeth and personal hygiene in general. It is also a good idea to be well prepared at the latest, on the day before your interview incase there are last minute glitches that may need taking care of.
4. Don’t be tardy
Whatever you do, make sure you arrive at your interview early. Plan your journey in advance, take extra measure to arrive early to keep you relaxed and composed. If taking public transport, ensure you check all connecting times and intervals. Also, check for the possible options you may have in case there is a delay with the public transport. We all know the unexpected can sometimes occur, should there be any delay in you getting to your interview on time, ring the interviewer and let them know as soon as possible.
Never underestimate teh value of a firm handshake. This communicated confidence - be careful however not to be too firm not too flimsy. Striking a healthy balance is key here. Make sure you sit upright and avoid sloughing into your chair. Maintain good eye contact without starring and avoid crossing your arms while speaking with your interviewers.
6. Communicate positively
No interviewer wants to hear how you don’t get on with your current boss and how much you dislike your job, if that is the case; remain positive about your reasons for looking for a new job. Whether it be that you’re looking for a new company in a different industry, or you want to develop additional skills to progress in your career, try to be forward-thinking and focus on your ambition to succeed. Depending on the job you are applying for, having a portfolio of your previous work can be an eye-opener to employers and shows real initiative. If you’re looking for a design job or a job in advertising, for example, taking along examples of your work can really put into context your skills and abilities that you say you have.
7. Any questions?
An interview is a 2-way street. Whilst the employer will be asking you about your skills and experience, it is also an opportunity for you to learn more about the job and the company. At the end of an interview, be prepared to ask some questions to show your interest and your enthusiasm. If you prepare between 10-15 questions, you will find that the majority of these will be answered within the interview itself. Try to aim for 5 questions about the company plus another 5 about the job itself.
Even though you may just want to forget about the interview as soon as you've stepped out of the building, actually reflecting on the interview and questions that you felt you answered well, or perhaps not so well, can really help with your interview technique. Remember, interviewing is a skill, and to become proficient, sometimes it can take practice.
The next day, you could email the interviewers to thank them for their time, and the opportunity. If you have any burning questions that you forgot to say the previous day, now is the time to ask. However, don’t pester; recruiting is a time consuming process for a lot of companies and they may not have the time to respond straight away.
If unfortunately you’re not successful, you are more than entitled to ask for feedback to evaluate if there are areas that you need to work on.
One of the main things to remember in an interview is to be yourself; as cliché as that sounds! The employer already believes you can do the job, which is why you have got the interview in the first place! What they are trying to find out is a bit more about your skills and experience, how enthusiastic you are and how well you’d fit into the company culture.