First interview, or first interview in years? A brief refresher.
1. Know your CV. Interviews are usually CV based so make sure you know your CV inside and out. You should definitely read through your CV beforehand and even think about taking a copy of it to the interview with you.
2. Know where you are going! You might want to travel to where the interview is being held one day beforehand so that you are confident you can find it on the day. If not, then make sure you allow some extra travelling time. It’s better to be early than late…
3. Research research research! You can’t do too much. Check the job title and the full names of the interviewers before your meeting. Don’t be afraid to phone in advance and ask about your interview. Some companies will provide this information online, but if not, find out what format the interview will take and how long it will last. Ask if the interview will involve group exercises or tests and whether or not you need to prepare anything. Ask for the names of the people who will be interviewing you. Visit the company’s website and understand their business. Read about the interviewers on LinkedIn.
4. Make a good impression. First impressions count. This includes what you are wearing and giving a firm handshake as soon as you arrive. People can make an initial judgement about you in the first few seconds.
5. Body language. It’s all too easy in the stress of an interview to forget the basics. You should avoid crossing your arms. This can make you look unapproachable when you want to come across as open and receptive. You could concentrate on making sure you sit with your hands open on the table or on your lap.
6. Eye contact. make sure that you look the interviewer or interviewers in the eye to show confidence and belief in what you are saying. This can sometimes be difficult to remember when you are nervous, but there is nothing more off putting than a potential candidate for a job who looks everywhere around the room apart from at you.
7. Show some personality. Although interviews are serious meetings, please do show some personality and be as relaxed as possible whilst still showing drive and motivation. This is your chance to sell yourself, and the interviewers will be looking for signs that you will get on with the employees.
8. Ending the interview. Try to prepare some in advance on topics such as where the business plans to go in the future, opportunities for progression within the organisation, and more detailed questions about the role you are applying for. Don’t forget to ask politely what the next stage of the process is and when you are likely to hear. The interviewers can sometimes forget to include this information, and it’s really important for you to know.
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