Creating a good impression at your interview is vital, but there is more to it than just dressing well and answering some questions.
Before the interview
- Ask for a copy of the job description if one is available. Make sure you understand the responsibilities and tasks and make notes to ask the interviewer if anything is unclear.
- Research the company
- Prepare and practice your answers. Be prepared with specific examples of situations where you been able to prove your abilities in your current or past roles. Think back to some of your successes (and failures) and make notes if you think you might struggle to remember these examples at the interview.
Presentation. First impressions count.
- Dress in a way that is appropriate to the job you're applying for.
- Choose clothing you feel comfortable and confident in.
- Personal grooming is very important. Make sure your hair is tidy and your clothes are clean and pressed.
- If you're applying for a job with your current employer, it's acceptable to wear whatever your normal work attire might be.
At the Interview
- Arrive at the venue early so you don't feel flustered and have time to collect your thoughts.
- Turn off your mobile phone.
- Think about the questions before answering. If you're unsure about a question, ask the interviewer to clarify.
- Stay relaxed, friendly and polite. It's okay to be nervous.
- Be specific with your answers and provide details of specific situations that you have experienced.
- Don't arrive late.
- Don't invent or exaggerate your experience or skills.
- Don't be negative.
- Don't give answers you've memorised prior to the interview.
Towards the end of the interview, you'll be given the opportunity to ask questions. Asking relevant questions about the job or company shows your enthusiasm, initiative and preparation.
At the conclusion of the interview, ask the interviewer if there's any extra information they need from you, and find out when you might expect to hear back from them about the next steps in the recruitment process. Most important of all, thank them for taking the time to meet with you.
After the Interview
- If you haven't heard from the recruiter or hiring manager within the timeframe mentioned, it's appropriate to send a polite follow-up email requesting an update.
- If you've been selected to move forward in the process, be aware that things might move quite quickly; you may be invited back for a second interview or asked to complete an assessment/test, and the recruiter or hiring manager may wish to contact your referees. It's important for you to make sure that your referees are happy to answer questions about your past performance.
- If you have not been successful, take on board the feedback the recruiter or hiring manager gives you and use this as an experience to learn for your next interview. You should receive both positive and constructive feedback.