Many people approach interviews with something approaching sheer terror. It’s perfectly normal to be nervous, but you shouldn’t let it affect your presentation. Consider this:
1. The interviewer wouldn’t have called you if they didn’t think you could do the job.
2. You were brought in because they want you to be the right person for the role as much as you do!
If it were just a matter of skills and experience nobody would ever have to interview – a CV would be enough. The interview process is therefore a two pronged exercise designed to firstly, reassure the potential employer that you have the requisite skills and aptitude for the post as mentioned in your CV and secondly, to determine whether you will fit into the team. This makes personality, attitude and the way you approach the interview just as important as the skills you bring.
‘Failure to Prepare is preparation for failure….’
First impressions are lasting impressions, so it is essential that you have prepared thoroughly for the interview. Try to research the company and sector as thoroughly as possible – background knowledge will boost your confidence and shows an employer that you are taking the interview seriously. Most companies will have a website, which can prove to be an excellent source of company and product information. Company brochures and annual reports can also be made available. Having some knowledge about the company will also make the interview a more rewarding experience for your potential employer – they will be much more impressed by a candidate who appears interested and informed than by someone who has no idea who they are speaking to.
The key word is ‘prepared’: remember, no one will mark you down for doing your homework.
‘Getting there is half the fun…’
Arriving 10 minutes late for an interview after running up fifteen flights of stairs will never create the kind of first impression you’re after. It is worth bearing these factors in mind when preparing for your interview:
* Allow plenty of time to get there.
* What sort of parking is available?
* Take directions or a map if one is provided, to make sure you know exactly where you’re going.
* Make sure you have the company telephone number with you so that you can call if you are running late.
* If the site has more than one gate or building, which one do you need?
Find out how long the interview is due to last and arrange the rest of your day accordingly. Nothing will irritate an interviewer more than seeing a candidate continually checking their watch!
‘But the man in the shop said I looked cool…?’
Even if the company you are interviewing for has a casual dress code, you will still need to dress the part. Jeans and a T-shirt are fine for the pub, but won’t win you any prizes in an interview. It implies that you aren’t taking the meeting seriously. If you are coming from an office that has a casual dress code, remember to allow time to change.