When you go for interview you can assume the company interviewing you wants to offer you the job and are very much hoping that you match their requirements. Companies rarely find exactly what they're after, but are looking for the closest match. So, it is up to you to convince them that you are the best match they will find.
Following the basic guidelines below should help ensure you avoid disappointing both yourself and the interviewer. Although most should be obvious, it is definitely worth taking 5 minutes to run through and check. Ignore these basic guidelines at your peril!
It is said that the interviewer makes up their mind about you the minute you walk through the door - the way you look, the way you say hello, shake their hand, the politeness you display. They then spend the rest of the interview confirming their initial impressions.
- Be on time - not too early - definitely not late. Present yourself at reception 15 minutes before the interview is scheduled. This allows you time to sign in and gather your thoughts before commencing the interview. It's a good idea to briefly visit the bathroom before the interview starts both for any last minute call of nature and, importantly, to check your appearance - hair's not blown all over the place - no food in the teeth - clothes sitting right etc.
- Prepare Review the job description - consider how closely your CV matches and be prepared to discuss shortfalls. Know in advance how you're going to describe your work experience in a succinct and positive way that relates to the requirements of the job.
- Know something of the company interviewing you. You should have some basic understanding of their line of business, how that industry is doing currently, how big this company is, how they're doing generally in the marketplace and whether there's been anything about them in the press recently. Their annual report, a quick review of their website or a search on Google should give you the necessary information.
- Dress appropriately. Look smart - no jeans, t-shirts or trainers. For men - shirt and trousers - possibly a tie and lounge jacket depending on the company. Polished shoes.
- Present yourself appropriately. Neat hair. Clean fingernails, clean teeth and fresh breath (no heavy garlic meals the night before!).
- Don't fidget. This will distract the interviewer. Sit calm and relaxed (or appear to do so anyway).
- Smile Show a positive and confident style. Make sure you have some degree of eye contact with the interviewer.
- Don't use the interviewer's first name without being invited to do so.
- Listen carefully to questions - do not interrupt - think before you speak - then make sure you answer the question and only the question ...speak clearly and calmly. Do not waffle - quality, not quantity. If you do not understand the question, then say so.
- Have some prepared questions. Know/note down in advance the questions you want answers to such as work space, training, promotion prospects, review intervals, holiday entitlement etc Leave these questions until the end or when asked by the interviewer whether you've anything to ask that's not been covered.
- Appear keen. Have a notepad and pen available to you should you need to make any important notes
- Thank the interviewer for their time and interest at the end of the interview and ask if they could advise you what the next steps are. This reaffirms your definite interest in the job.