So your professional C.V. has got you shortlisted for the job and now you have a date for your first interview
You’ve got some time before the big day so start doing your homework:
Fail to prepare = Prepare to fail
- Have you found out as much as you can about the job and the employer (via the internet or word of mouth from fellow professionals) prior to arriving?
- Are you as sure as you can be about the sort of person the employer/interviewer is looking for?
- Have you got your written references, diplomas and the like ready in a smart folder or briefcase to take to the interview and show (if asked)?
Making the right impression
- Dress smart! This doesn’t mean to wear your uniform but a business-like suit is best - clean, pressed and remember that many people judge others within the first 10 seconds of meeting them for the first time.
- Lose the excess jewelry.
- Don’t splash on the perfume or cologne - best to leave it off all together.
- The phrase ‘down at heel’ has a reason behind it - your shoes should be immaculate.
- If prompted offer a firm handshake - it shows you mean business.
- Maintain eye contact as much as you can without ‘staring’ - when answering a question you can look at your hands sitting folded in your lap (which shows you are carefully considering your replies)
- Don’t waffle - answer question within 2-3 minutes maximum.
- Speak correctly - avoid slang and lazy speech or grammar - y’now wot I mean at the end of the day?
Those killer questions: (see video below)
- What are your weaknesses?
- Why should we hire you?
- Why do you want to work for me/us?
- What are your goals
- What do you bring to the table that others don’t?
- What positive things would you current/last boss say about you if asked?
- If you were an animal what animal would you be?
Be honest and focus on your strengths - practise your replies to these rather over-used interview questions with a friend or partner and so save your brain power for when something you hadn’t prepared for comes along.
Practice really does make perfect and gives you confidence which is appealing to any interviewer - but remember to adopt a professional, restrained and sincere attitude appropriate to the position on offer. Don’t be over exuberant, over talkative or over friendly.