So…you have secured an interview, your CV has survived the initial sift and they’re impressed by what they’ve read and they want to meet you in person. This is now a real-time event, you’re not carefully wording sentences in front of your computer.
How can you clinch the deal. Many people are nervous about interviews and even not sure how to prepare for the interview itself. We’ve given some ideas below, they may seem like common-sense, but you might be surprised that some don’t prepare enough and of course this may jeopardise their chances of getting to the next stage.
1. Arrive early. On time is just not going to help you arrive in a relaxed frame of mind. Don’t camp outside the office but if you give yourself an extra fifteen to twenty minutes, this will take care of any late buses or unexpected traffic.
2. Switch your mobile phone off before you get into your interview. I heard about one man who actually took a call during an interview. Maybe he thought that his popularity would impress the interviewer. Guess what? It didn’t.
3. Don’t risk it with the dress code. You can never tell what looks good to another person so a fairly safe assumption would be smart business dress. You don’t have to wear a tuxedo or a ball gown. Shirt and tie for men, smart skirt / trousers and blouse for women. They will know from the first impression that they have about you that you are serious about the job interview.
4. Make sure you have another look at the CV you sent in (you may have more than one format of your CV, depending on the job you are going for) and if you arrive early it will give you something to look at whilst you are waiting. It may help calm your nerves as you will feel more prepared.
5. What does the company do? Do they have one office or are they global? What are their objectives? You may find that twenty minutes research on the company website will give you lots of information that would be helpful. If you were asked if there is anything you would like to ask, wouldn’t it be great if you could ask a really relevant question that showed that you know a little about this company. You could score a point where others failed giving you an edge.
6. Be yourself. Don’t make any claims that you would find hard to back-up. If you say that you are an aggressive negotiator, able to close difficult negotiations, that’s who they will expect to turn up on Monday morning.
7. If possible, find out what to expect next. Without sounding desperate ask whether to expect a letter or email etc. If you feel that it’s appropriate send them a letter or email to thank them for their time, this also gives you an opportunity to reiterate your interest in the job. This serves as a good reminder for them of who you are.
Dave Smith of Career Visa UK is our leading authority when it comes to personal careers advice.
He has worked in the UK recruitment industry since 1991 and is now an expert Jobsearch Consultant specialising in CV creation and improvement. If you need help in preparing to enter the Job Market for the first time or are planning on a career change – simply get in touch via his website http://www.careervisa.co.uk/. You can also read more at his online blog at http://careervisa.blogspot.com/