If you’re feeling nervous about your interview then it might be a sign that you’re not prepared for what’s to come. But are you confident that you know how and what to prepare? Here are a few things you might’ve forgotten. You can contact me to talk more about your interview strategy.
Know what to wear (iron shirt polish shoes)
There have been a number of occasions on which I interviewed prospects for jobs for clients with and there were usually several criteria that I had to formulate my views. It was my job to critique, compare and assess jobseekers and give them equal opportunity to state their case and sell their skills and attributes. I recall one particular scenario where I must have interviewed 10 candidates during the day and was approaching the end of the list trying to keep an open mind as to who I might meet next.
The job I happened to be hiring for was based in a top law firm and I had given each candidate the opportunity to conduct research, read the job description and ask questions about the job. So I was taken aback when the final interview of the day arrived dressed in his tracksuit and trainers because it left me wondering whether or not he had bothered to do any research at all. After all any impression that he gave me during the interview would be the impression that will remain with me when it came time to decide on who I should submit to my client. My first suspicions were realised as the interview progressed as it became obvious that he had not done any research on the client so needless to say, I didn’t send his profile and CV to my client. Collection of footwear on peoples feet
Equally, if you are interviewed directly by employers it is important that you research their dress code so that you know what’s to wear on the day the interview. And don’t just throw something together. Makes sure your clothes are pristine and your shoes are polished – if the role demands it -because it can be indicative of attitude. The idea is to blend in so that what you wear matches the corporate culture. I remember from personal experience that I turned up to a recruitment agency on the assumption that everyone wore brogues and blazers only to find out that they were expecting me to dress according to their standard, which was ironically smart casual. I interviewed well but didn’t get the job because it appeared as though I had not researched well enough and that I wouldn’t fit in. The message here is never assume, do your research so that you blend in.
Pack your bag (pens, memory stick)
Are you the kind of person who leaves things until the last minute? Do you find yourself rushing around searching for keys, your wallet/purse or other everyday essentials? Well don’t let that be you on the day of your interview. If your nerves aren’t on edge already they certainly will be on the day of your interview when you are unable to find something that is critical.
Make sure you have everything packed the day before your interview including a couple of pens (in case one runs out) the memory stick on which your PowerPoint presentation is saved and other seemingly menial things like your umbrella or bus pass.
This may all seem trivial to you but believe me, this all adds up to a positive performance at interview. And if you’re still not convinced just imagine showing up to an interview where the interviewer expects you to provide a critical document like your passport or a presentation and you open up your bag to discover you left it on the chair at home. How embarrassing! You’ve let yourself down and have more than likely fallen down the pecking order of employee prospects.
Review your CV
The CV is usually the key to getting as many interviews as possible and if you’ve got to interview stage via your CV then it means that the interviewer read something that they really like and they will be keen to ask you detailed questions when you meet face-to-face. That’s why it’s so important to review the CV that you sent with your application so that you know it back to front.
We’ve all heard the question ‘ tell me about yourself’ and it usually confounds interviewees because it’s such an open question that it becomes difficult to understand exactly what answer the interviewer wants. But the answer the question (or at least one potential answer) can be derived from aspects of your career that are relevant to the job you are interviewing for so if you are able to talk fluently, succinctly and confidently talk about aspects of your career (as presented on your CV).
From my experience there are few things more excruciating than watching an interviewee stumble as they attempt to recite their CV and find themselves having to sift through the CV line by line to locate information relevant to the answer. I for one lost patience with and confidence in the interviewee – whilst remaining poker-faced – when it became obvious that they have not revised what was on their CV and would become exasperated by the lack of knowledge of their own career and disappointed in the fact that they had not even bothered to prepare. Don’t let that be you!
Line up at least 3 other interviews around the same time
You should never ever keep your hopes on one interview even if the job appears to be the perfect one for you. The simple fact is that the more interviews you have, the higher the probability that you will get a job and I’d say you should aim for between three and five interviews at a time ideally arranged within a short period of time (i.e. over the space of a week). Having several interviews lined up demonstrates to the interviewer that you are a popular candidate which should immediately raise your appeal. If your interview is as good as your CV and applications the interviewer will be forced to take action as soon as possible for fear of losing you to the process. And when after a week you have finished all your interviews and received two or three offers, you will have more power in your hands to negotiate a package that is favourable.
Confidence plays a big part in your job search success and having multiple interviews and offers is guaranteed to give you the credibility and confidence that you seek.
Leave enough time to prepare and practice your presentation (save on memory stick, google drive)
Interviews are all about presenting yourself in a way that is appealing to the interviewer and allows them to visualise the benefits they will receive by employing you. Presentations of all types are very popular at the moment especially at the second stage of the interview process and it’s usually a sign that you really impressed first time around, so don’t throw it all away by not preparing properly and failing to rehearse your script and review your slides if you’re using a PowerPoint presentation.
I remember a friend of mine had been given a whole week to prepare for his second interview but left it until the night before. Unfortunately-and unsurprisingly-he didn’t get the job because he fluffed his lines. Bear in mind that the interviewer is assessing your credibility and confidence in front of an audience as well as your ability to deliver a relevant answer to a given brief.
If you do use PowerPoint to showcase your presentation remember to save a copy on a memory stick to take with you on the day of your interview and as a failsafe, send a copy of the presentation to a reliable email address that you can access from anywhere and is a third measure, save the presentation to a cloud-based storage system such as Google Docs.
Plan your journey
Make sure you know exactly where your interview is due to take place well in advance of the day of the interview so that you know how long it will take you to get there. You should aim to get to the site of your interview 15 minutes in advance but don’t be afraid to arrive in the vicinity of your interview earlier than that, even if it means that you sit in a nearby cafe to kill some time. You make your way to your destination so that you arrive 15 to 20 minutes beforehand. It’s also a good idea to check the weather forecast, after all, the last thing you want to do is arrive drenched from head to toe when you could’ve worn a raincoat or bought an umbrella.
And if you arrive late that would just add insult to injury and further lessen your chances of getting the job or even securing a second interview – not to mention dent your confidence.
Get a good night’s sleep
If you are sleep deprived ‘your ability to learn and retain new information may be impaired’ according to Web MD so now that you’ve done all your preparation it is time Woman sleepingto get a good night’s sleep to make sure that you feel fresh and look fresh on the day of your interview. Self-discipline is an important trait you will need to show throughout the period of your job search so that might mean saying no when your friends invite you to go out on a late-night knees up hours before an important interview. Sometimes that sort of temptation can be difficult to resist but if you can discipline yourself to say no and explain to your friends the reasons why, you will feel much better for it the day after. And in any case, you will have plenty of time to celebrate once you get the job.
Having a good night’s sleep is especially important if your interview is either early in the morning or later in the evening. Believe me it will be obvious to the interviewer if you are tired because your body language may well be languid making you appear unenthusiastic and your levels of concentration will be diminished reducing your ability to answer questions effectively because of gaps in your memory.
Now it’s time for you to begin to prepare for your interview but if you’re not sure what to do, you can contact me to talk more about your interview strategy