Careers Masterclass: Interviews
"Just one more question..."
There is no way of avoiding interviews but to ensure that an interview goes as smoothly as possible, simply remember the four Ps: preparation, punctuality, presentation and positivity. Get these right and everything else should fall into place.
This doesn't just mean looking the company up online; you should also have visited at least one branch to see how the company operates on the ground. You should also have a good idea of its competitors.
You should know your CV like the back of your hand. Your interviewer will use this as a guide and will ask you about anything that stands out, such as gaps in your career history or a certain project you have mentioned.
In addition, you should have prepared answers to the more obvious interview questions, many of which will follow a similar structure such as "describe a situation when..." The interviewer will probably also ask you about your strengths and weaknesses so having a couple of answers to hand is vital.
The last stage of your preparation is to know exactly how to get to your interview. Make sure you know the exact location of the interview venue and if you need to, take a map or a printout of the area.
This point is simple. Being late is simply not an option so make sure that you get to your interview with about 10 minutes to spare. Incidentally, make sure that you are polite and courteous to everyone you meet at the venue. If you are rude, it will always be fed back to your interviewer.
It sounds obvious, but make sure that your outfit is appropriate to the circumstances. If you have not been given a dress code, then formal business dress is advisable, particularly for senior or office-based roles.
When you are called in, make sure your handshake is firm and that you look your interviewer in the eye. Remember why you're here and try to remain calm and quietly confident.
"At the end of the interview, you will be given the opportunity to ask the interviewer any questions. Remember that this is your chance to find out about the company first hand." The Appointment Team
During the interview, remember to remain positive. Don't moan about the journey in, no matter how bad and likewise, don't ever criticise your current employer.
Smile from time to time, look interested in the questions you are being asked and show them that you're here to move your career forward in a positive way.
Don't interrupt the interviewer, don't name-drop and don't try to apply pressure by saying that you've had another offer. That said, it is acceptable to let them know, if they ask, that you are being interviewed by other companies.
At the end of the interview, you will be given the opportunity to ask the interviewer any questions. Remember that this is your chance to find out about the company.
After the interview, write back to your contact, once again briefly expressing your interest in the job and in progressing to the next stage. Once this is done, your part in the process is over for the time being.
Whatever happens, remember what went well and what didn't so that you can learn from the experience.