It’s always a nerve-wracking experience when walking in for an interview, but one thing to remember is that the reason you’re there in the first place is because you were invited. So congratulations, you’ve already passed the first hurdle. Keep reading for a few tips from Owl on how to make that next stage a little bit less stressful.
It goes without saying that first impressions count so make sure you’re dressed both professionally and comfortably to give you confidence. Gone are the days when interview attire was a shirt/tie combo or pencil skirt as standard so decide what you think would be most appropriate for the workplace and role you’re going for and dress to impress.
You’re always told to give a good firm handshake when going for an interview – but why? Not only does this start the proceedings off on the right foot, it also shows confidence and in turn helps to instil trust in your abilities.
Turn off your mobile
We’re all aware we live in a digital age but don’t fall victim to the school-boy error of leaving your mobile phone on loud. Play it safe and keep it on silent or even in your car when going for that all important interview. That way you’re not distracted by annoying vibrating and the interviewer has your full attention and won’t remember you as “the one who had to get their phone out in the interview”!
Research the company
You applied for the job so we’ll assume you already know a little bit about the company. A strong candidate will always go one step further and do their homework on the organisation. You’ll more than likely be asked what you know about them, so make sure you’re fully equipped with all the information you can find including what the company do and any charity activities they’re involved with. Which leads us on to…
Research your interviewer
It’s not always possible to find out who your interviewer will be before the big day but if you’ve been fortunate to be given a name, it doesn’t hurt to do a little extra research. With tools like LinkedIn offering information in the public domain, it may just give you the upper hand.
Prepare basic questions
No one has a crystal ball so can never know for sure what will be asked in an interview but you can prepare yourself with some of the traditional questions that come up time and time again. Rehearse your answers for questions around strengths, weaknesses, why you want the job, where you see yourself in five years and don’t forget that you’ll more than likely be asked, “have you got any questions for us?”, so have something prepared for that one too!
Be early or at least on time
This one is for you as much as them. The last thing you want is a black mark against your name for running late to an interview without an extremely good reason as it shows lack of preparedness and that this meeting wasn’t a priority in your diary. For you, it’s just another thing to get you stressed and sweaty palmed before what can be an already high-pressured event. Make it easier on yourself, and set your alarm in plenty of time.
Be friendly and smile
You never know who you’ll walk past on the way into the building, up the staircase or in the lift so be friendly and smile at everyone you meet. Who knows you may have just shared the first three floors with your new manager…And if you haven’t, at least you’ve made the best impression possible with your new colleagues.
Finally, relax and breathe
You’ve been invited for an interview, you’ve prepared as much as possible and made it on time. Now is the time to try to relax with a few deep breaths and remember it’s ok to ask for a glass of water to take in with you. If you’re unsure how to answer a question, take a moment and give yourself a second or two to compose your answer…You’ve got this!