If you have managed to get an interview at all, well done! It is an accomplishment in itself, especially when the position being advertised is in a highly competitive field.
Many people are understandably fearful of interviews, but the good news is that you can significantly maximise your chances by preparing for the interview as nothing is more important to interview success.
Prepare, prepare and prepare again!
Abraham Lincoln supposedly once said that if he was given six hours to chop down a tree, he would spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.
In your case, preparing for your job interview should entail:
- Employer research: Familiarise yourself with the employer and reminding yourself why you wanted to work for them in the first place. Google the company, look at their website, read the ‘about us’ or ‘business strategy’ section and look through their social media sites – being aware of all of this will allow you to tailor your responses or even share your views or ideas.
- Job role research: Re-read your own CV and cover letter! You may be able to identify what they thought made you a great potential employee. Also re-read the application form to consider what kind of questions the interviewer is likely to ask – particularly those that would be most awkward.
- Dress for success: Look through your wardrobe and plan an outfit to make sure you are dressed smartly, first impressions are very important!
- Plan a route: Make sure you know your means of transport to the interview and plan the time you will be leaving – allowing for any potential delays. Plan to arrive 5 – 15 minutes before your scheduled time to ensure you’re not late and to give you time to get settled.
- Buy and bring: Buy a professional notepad and pen to bring with you. Before the interview write down anything that you would like to ask the interviewer at a later stage. During the interview make sure to take notes!
Make the best possible first impression
As clichéd a notion as it is, it’s true that first impressions count for a lot with interviewers – so you should get off to the best start by turning up 5 minutes early.
Interviewers are influenced by not only your timekeeping, but also the extent to which you have ostensibly prepared for the interview, your ability to maintain eye contact, your personal appearance, your ability to establish a natural rapport with the interviewer through banter or small talk, and even the strength of your handshake.
But of course, making the right impression isn’t just about dazzling presentation – it’s also about being able to show the interviewer that you have the appropriate education, professional qualifications, references and work experience for the vacancy, so you should never neglect any of these.
The interview itself
Your preparation should equip you to answer all of the most typical interview questions, including about you as a person, your background and what your ambitions are in the months and years to come. Remember to be yourself at interview – if you can only get through an interview by ‘faking it’, you might want to ask yourself whether the job is really for you.
Finally, thank the interviewer for their time and if you are interested in the position, make sure you tell them. This will show your enthusiasm and leave a good lasting impression.
Although the above examples of good interview practice can’t by any means guarantee that you will be offered the job, they do at least give you the best possible chance of landing that dream role – whether at your next interview or a future one.
Talk to Rowlands about how you can not only find your perfect next career opportunity, but also prepare well to ensure you make the best possible impression on the employer at interview!