Remind yourself an interview is a two-way street – a chance to learn more about the organisation you have targeted and decide “is this somewhere I want to work?”
Before you enter, take some deep breaths right down into your tummy so it expands on both sides and let your breath out very slowly – this lowers your heart rate and helps you to calm.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT
What you say can be LESS important than your appearance. First impressions last, beyond what you say. Many of your individual characteristics cannot be changed, so it’s important to control what you can.
- Dress neatly. Consider wearing something one dress level up than what would be worn in the workplace. Darker colours are generally good confident colours.
- Hair should be clean and tidy. Same for your nails and shoes.
- being late or too early
- provocative, sloppy or outlandish clothing. Your favourite AC/DC shirt is not the best tool for the job and neither are your double pluggers!
- cigarettes beforehand
- applying strong aftershave or perfume
- carrying unnecessary items like a drink bottle or mobile phone
You really must:
- TURN OFF your mobile phone if it’s with you. IF you forget and it rings, DO NOT answer it and apologise to the interviewer, acknowledging your error.
- Smile on entry and greet the interviewer with confidence.
- Covering visible tattoos and piercings if able – your choice of course but the interviewer may be more conservative than you and we can all be a little judgmental. Remember, your aim is to stay in the game and eliminate reasons you can be culled from the recruitment process.
DURING THE INTERVIEW
- Exhibit a positive, ‘can-do’ attitude. Have specific and positive examples of achievements or situations that back up your responses.
- Take time. It’s OK to pause and think before answering.
- Don’t be embarrassed to ask for a question to be repeated. Some questions have two or three parts, so it’s perfectly reasonable.
- If you want to add something later to a previous response, go for it, asking permission first.
- Be authentic! Use professional language, but if you really love (to do) something, express it. You can say most things with smile on your face. But, don’t swear!
- Refer to the ‘Interview Preparation’ blog – if you have, you will know your strengths and will have already practiced your responses to predicted questions.
- If you are unaware of your idiosyncrasies (Eg. touching your neck or face, speaking fast, ask friends which behaviours you exhibit when anxious and try to eliminate these.
- First impressions last – NEVER compromise on a genuine warm smile during the greeting
- Have a spare copy of your resume, plus a note pad and pen to take notes if you want to
- Carry a folio of relevant documents prepared including original certificates
- Thank the interviewer(s) for the opportunity to meet with them at the end of the interview
- Consider sending a note of thanks on the same day to the interviewer(s).
Now relax, knowing you did your best.