Bear in mind these general tips when preparing for and attending job interviews.
Dress appropriately for the interview. This will usually mean dressing smartly and professionally. If in doubt, wear a suit - you are not going to be penalized for being too smart.
Keep accessories and jewelry to a minimum. Don’t load on the aftershave or perfume, and women should keep make up toned down. Be comfortable and be yourself, but remember that first impressions count and you don’t want to stand out for the wrong reason.
Allow yourself plenty of time to get to the interview, and make sure you know where it is. You will usually be sent a map, but if not either phone to check the location or do your own research - don’t assume you know where you’re going!
Take your mobile in case you are delayed so you can give advance warning. No-one will mind if you are too early, and employers will appreciate you letting them know if your train has been delayed, but they will not look kindly on being kept waiting with no explanation.
Remember your body language. A firm handshake and maintaining eye contact are important. Sit upright, and keep hand gestures to a minimum - no fiddling with a pen, twirling your hair or biting your nails during the interview (believe it or not, this does happen, and is very off putting for the interviewer).
Think about what to take with you. This could include a copy of your CV and letter, the original job advert or details, and any other information you have been provided with or have been asked to bring. It is also a good idea to have a copy of the letter or e-mail confirming the interview arrangements, along with the interviewer’s name or contact details, plus of course a list of the questions that you want to ask.
Be confident. You will not do yourself justice if you are too tense or nervous. The employer has decided that you are worth meeting; they are interested in you and your application, and want to find out more. Remember this and it will boost your confidence.
Be relaxed. Bear in mind that employers realize that interviews can be nerve wracking situations, particularly for the inexperienced. They are not setting out to intimidate you and will do their best to put you at your ease, while at the same time testing and assessing your skills and experience.
Be honest. Employers appreciate candour and self-awareness. If you try to cover something up it is likely to trip you up later.
Don’t be afraid of silences - if you need a few moments to consider a question, or recall a specific example, then that’s fine. Don’t be tempted to rush in and start talking without first having thought through what you are going to say. If you don’t understand a question, and want it repeated or clarified, then ask.
Sometimes, however, we can simply go blank - this has happened to most people at some point in an interview. Often the interviewer will notice and suggest that they move on or return to the question later. Or you can acknowledge it yourself, apologise and ask to move on. If this happens occasionally, don’t worry - put it behind you and focus on the next question.
End on a positive note. Thank the interviewers for their time, tell them you enjoyed meeting them. If they haven’t already told you, ask them about the next steps in the recruitment process, their timescale and how they will get back to you.
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