Always know exactly where you are going before you set off. Google Maps is a good tool and gives you an indication on travel times. Give yourself plenty of time as there is a good chance of traffic, delayed trains or other elements such as limited parking which can set you back.
If you interview is during the school runs or home time allow extra time as this can catch you out.
Being late for an interview no matter what the reason is will always set a negative tone and you will have to be exceptional in order to win it back. Also, if you arrive too early wait outside as you don’t want to be waiting in reception for ages which can also be negative.
Research the company, visit the website, jump onto Linked in to find out about the interviewer, establish who their competitors are and try and find out as much as you can so that you are well equipped. It is very evident who has taken time out to prepare and who hasn’t.
Your interviewer will make a judgement about you before you have even said a word or sat down, they will note your body language and presentation which forms a big part of their opinion, the rest is then down to you. Be confident but not arrogant, make sure you look the interviewer in the eye and ensure that your handshake is firm. Introduce yourself, and wait to be asked to take a seat. Don’t slouch, lean back or be over familiar. Sit up straight, avoid touching your face or hair and maintain eye contact during the entire interview as this will help show your confidence. Always make sure your phone is off, no gum and please don’t have a cigarette before walking in.
Most candidates feel nervous before an interview, some more than others but it is important to try and keep calm otherwise you are likely forget key points and your interview will be over very quickly.
Most interviewers will try to make you feel at ease and will break in slowly if they notice you are nervous. It is also worth having some water at hand which can be a saviour at times.
Take your time before answering, don’t rush, be clear and avoid saying ‘you know, ummms and errrrs as this will make them switch off.
TYPICAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Each interviewer is different and everyone has their own style and different techniques. These are some of the most commonly asked questions which are worth preparing for as they are likely to come up.
- Why are you the ideal candidate?
- Why are you looking for a new job?
- Reasons for leaving your last job?
- What do you know about us?
- What are your main strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Greatest achievement in your career?
- What are your long term ambitions?
- Give me an example of...?
- Tell me about yourself? A lot of people forget this part but people buy into people and they are interested in knowing who you are and whether you will fit into the company culture.
YOUR PARTICIPATION TO THE INTERVIEW
Interviews work both ways, and as much as you are being asked questions it is also good to have a list of your own questions to find out more about the position, new ventures and where the role can lead to in the future. You will leave a positive impression and will also maximise the meeting to its full potential.
A lot of people forget this part and in many cases this plays a big part and is a key opportunity to rectify any concerns or queries that your interviewer might have. Find out if they have any reservations about you? What the next step in the process will be? When can you expect to hear back from them? How many other candidates are they due to meet?
All of these are key indicators for feedback and will help you determine how well you did.