Your CV has been shortlisted and you have been offered an interview. Chances are, you will be one of a few candidates shortlisted, so you need to make sure you give yourself the best opportunity of turning the ‘interview’ into a ‘job offer’.
Proper preparation will help alleviate some of the stress you may feel during the job interview and the better prepared you are, the more comfortable and relaxed you will feel. Remember, your CV has got you this far, now it is up to you to cross the finish line.
Practice and Prepare
Be ready with genuine examples you can use to highlight your skills and experience. A good way to do this is to look at the job description and try and match as closely as you can to your own experience and achievements.
… It is up to you to cross the finish line.
Research the Company
Do your homework about the employer and the industry so you are ready for the interview questions. Make sure you know the interviewer’s name and job title. The first few minutes of an interview are usually the ‘ice breaking’ moments before the formal interview takes place. Look at their website to get a better understanding of what they do, the areas in which they work etc. Search the company on the internet for any additional information that may be useful – you may be surprised what you might find.
Get Ready Ahead of Time and Be on Time
This is an easy one – Get to the interview 5 to 10 minutes before the interview is due to begin. If driving, check beforehand if there is parking at the location, or if you are using public transport plan the journey in advance and if you can, take a dummy run to the location before the date of the interview.
Stay Calm and Remain Positive
Try to relax and stay as calm as possible. Your body language can say as much about you as your answers to the questions. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer during the interview and listen and pay attention to the questions.
You will more than likely be asked why you feel you are suitable for the role. Be prepared for this question and when answering be positive, thoughtful and enthusiastic.
Never belittle or talk negatively about your current or previous employers. Always remain professional in answering questions like ‘Why are you looking to leave your current employer?’. It’s best not to bring any personal issues you may have with your current employer up during the interview.
Show What You Know
You will more than likely be asked to demonstrate how your skills and experience match what the role requires. Try to relate what you know about the company when answering questions. When discussing your career accomplishments, match them to what the company is looking for.
Your body language can say as much about you as your answers to the questions…
After the Interview
Once the interview has completed you may be asked if you have any questions.
NEVER ask about the salary as your first question. This can be seen by the interviewer as being more concerned about money than the role.
Ask what the time scale will be before you hear feedback and will there be a 2nd interview stage? There is no harm in confirming your interest again too – you now know more about the role and the job and if it has become even more interesting then be enthusiastic and let them know.
Ask for a contact email address (if not already provided) and when you are home and composed, write a follow up email thanking them for the opportunity to interview.