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
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
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!