Great news! You've secured an interview, but now you need to convince the interviewer you're the right person for the job!
Here are our top tips to help you leave a lasting impression.
BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
Arriving for your interview fully prepared feeling cool, calm and collected will give you the best chance of performing at your peak so before your interview ensure that you:
- Find out where it will be held
- Establish how you will get there; if there is parking; how far away the train or bus station is
- Know how long the interview will last – clock watching because you are worried you will miss the train back will not create a good impression
- Know what format the interview will take; do you need to take examples of a portfolio or examples of your work; do you need to prepare a presentation; will there be any tests or group exercises?
- Check the date and time of the interview
- Do your research on the company and ensure you are up to date with any current affairs that are affecting the industry
- Make a list of questions you think you may be asked and prepare your answers. It may help to set up a practice interview with a family member or friend so that you get used to articulating your responses and familiarise yourself with the Top 5 Interview Questions
- Make a note of any questions you want to ask the interviewer
- Dress appropriately for the interview
- Don’t be late
AT THE INTERVIEW
- Greet the interviewer confidently with a smile, eye contact and a firm handshake – first impressions count
- An interview is a two way process, build a rapport with the interviewer and ask questions too
- Make sure you listen to the questions and answer them in full. Look out for questions that are asking more than one question and make sure you answer all elements, e.g. “Tell me about a time where you handled a difficult situation, what was difficult about it and what did you do to rectify it?”
- Be positive and sell yourself – don’t say anything negative about your current or previous employers and be positive about your experience and ability, for example instead of saying “I have a little experience in…” say, “I have experience in…”
- Wherever possible give examples of your experience to support your answer and prove you are capable of doing the job. Using the STAR (Situation Task Action Response) technique will help you structure your answer and give the interviewer the information they are looking for
- Familiarise yourself with some of the top qualities that interviewers look for
CLOSING THE INTERVIEW
- If you think the job is an excellent fit and you are very interested in working for the company, say so as a candidate’s enthusiasm for a job is attractive
- Have some questions ready to ask at the end that are important for you to know, but keep it to a maximum of three, e.g. "How would you describe the company culture?", "Is there a 'typical' career path for this role?" or "Is there anything else I can provide you with too help with your decision?"
- It is also appropriate to ask about the next stage of the process and when you may expect to hear from them. If the subject of remuneration comes up, here’s how to discuss salary at interview
- Don’t forget to thank the interviewer for their time and consideration of you for the role