So you finally got called for that interview at XYZ Plc, congratulations! Here are a few simple tips to make sure that you excel at that interview and charm your way into a fantastic new job.
1.Read Up about the Company; We cannot stress enough how important it is to read up about the company you are applying to. Not only will it show the interviewer that you are prepared, it will also give you a better idea of what will be expected from you when you get there. So visit the company’s website, read press releases, find out as much as you can about the company, their products/services, clients and corporate culture. This will give you added confidence, which is always welcome at an interview and the interviewer will notice you made the effort.
2. Review the Job Description; Before you attend any interview, make sure you have gone over the job description very carefully if you do this, you will have in mind the skills that the interviewers are looking for in their ideal candidate. Having a clear idea what the job entails will allow you show the interviewer how your skills and qualifications can be applied to fit the role.
3. Bring a copy of your CV and References; Do not assume that the interviewer will have a copy of your CV, always bring a hard copy to hand over in case for whatever reason, they do not have your CV on hand. This is an opportunity to bring along additional references or recommendations which detail the outstanding work you have done at your previous employment. Remember, interviews are a chance for you to sell yourself so it’s ok to show off a bit. Just remember to avoid sounding arrogant.
4. Practice; Prepare a list of likely interview questions and practice your answers. A list of common interview questions can be found here. Also practice your sitting and handshake and remember that it is important to always look the interviewer in the eye and smile. Remember, the interviewer will be watching your body language as well as listening to your answers, practicing beforehand will make you feel at ease on the day of the interview and your answers will sound more sincere and better thought out when you’ve had a chance to prepare.
5. Prepare your own questions; Oftentimes, at the end of an interview the interviewer may ask if you have any questions you’d like to ask. Remember, an interview is a discussion, not an inquisition therefore, if you ask questions, it lets them know that you have an interest in the role and the company and are not just looking for a way to pay the bills. Ask relevant questions about the company and/or role or better yet, make an observation about a product/service you are familiar with. This will move you up from “just another candidate” to someone who can make a meaningful impact in the company.
6. Dress to impress; Interview clothing is very important. Your clothes are the first impression the interviewers get when you walk through the door. Avoid short, loud, tight, bright or overly trendy clothing. For women, it is a good idea to wear sensible heels rather than anything that will cause you to wobble or fall considering you will already be nervous enough on that day. Makeup should also e kept at a minimum. Men should make sure that they are clean shaven and their hair is nicely cut; even if they keep facial hair, it should be trimmed neatly. If you look good, you will feel confident and when attending an interview, a little confidence goes a long way.
7. Plan your journey; A lot of people wait until the morning of the interview to find out where it is supposed to take place. This is always a bad idea because there may be traffic, parking issues or the building may just be really difficult to find. It’s a good idea to plan the journey at least one day before and call your HR contact at the company for directions in case you’re having issues planning your journey. There’s nothing worse than arriving late, flustered and disorganized due to poor journey planning.
8. Get a good night’s sleep; Yes, its normal to be excited the night before an interview however, staying up late will leave you tired and distracted the following day. It’s a good idea to set all your clothes out the night before (you can even try them on to make sure there are no surprises in the morning), set your alarm and go to bed early. That way, you’re sure to arrive on time, fully prepared and ready to face whatever the day brings.