BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
Get to know the company
Get online and check out the organisation’s website.
What do they do?
How do they do it?
What initiatives are the involved in?
Get to know their brand
How does the role you are applying for fit into the business?
If you can find out the name of the person interviewing you. Check them out on LinkedIn, they will most likely have checked you out!
Review the job description
Pull out the key skills they are looking for and think of an example for each where you can demonstrate you have the skills or qualities they are looking for. Try to think of various ways to highlight your skills, perhaps by talking about things you do outside of work too. Make notes. It's a good idea to have some bullet points written down to help keep you on track.
Prepare some questions
At every interview there will be an opportunity for you to ask questions about the role and the organisation. This will show the interviewer that you are interested and help you to visualise what it would be like to work there.
How many people are in the team I may be working in?
What’s the best thing about working here?
When can I expect to hear your decision?
If you have some specific questions related to the business area you are being interviewed for such as marketing/corporate communications etc, then great, make a note of those too.
Plan your travel
Being late is not an option. Know your journey - check out the route, public transport and where to park or enter the building in advance. There’s nothing worse than getting lost or missing a train to increase your stress levels. If possible, make the journey in advance. It will help you to feel calmer if you know exactly where you are going. Leave early. If you have time to spare it will give you an opportunity to go over your notes.
IN THE INTERVIEW
First impressions last
Wear something professional and appropriate for the interview but make sure you are comfortable, otherwise you will look awkward and fidget. Your handshake is also important, so look the interviewer in the eye and shake firmly. Don’t forget to smile!
Be aware of your body language
A positive posture will help you to feel more confident:
Engage eye contact
Sit up straight and don’t slouch
If, when under pressure, you tend to play with your hair, tap your foot, fiddle with a pen, bite your nails or anything else, try not to do so during the interview
Relax and breathe
It's not easy when you are feeling anxious, but try to keep calm and just be yourself. It’s natural to feel nervous before an interview.
Show your personality
You'll be more comfortable with your answers, and you'll appear much more authentic and relaxed. Don’t try to be someone you’re not.
Listen and answer the questions
It may seem obvious but make sure you listen carefully to the question you are asked. You may not have prepared an answer or scenario that fits that question. Don’t let it throw you off. Ask the interviewer to elaborate or repeat themselves if you’re unsure. If a question throws you off track, ask for a moment to think about it and compose yourself. If you’re really stressed, let your interviewer know; this will help them understand your situation and make you feel at ease. They don’t want to catch you out and make you feel uncomfortable – they just want to see if you have the right skills and motivation for the role.
Use fresh examples
If an interviewer wants you to demonstrate your communication skills, team-working talents and business ability, don’t use the same example for every question.
Don’t forget to ask the questions you prepared
Show the interviewer you are interested in the company, team, role and use the interview to be sure the role is the right fit for you too.
Leave on a positive
Smile, nod and show you’re interested in what your interviewer is saying. If you look bored or don’t maintain eye contact, your interviewer may think you’re not interested in the job. Even if, at the end of the interview, you decide the role isn’t right for you, thank them for their time and remain enthusiastic. It’s always best to be professional.
IT'S ALL OVER
Pat yourself on the back, even if you don’t get the job, you have increased your confidence and prepared yourself for the next interview.