Getting ready for the interview
In our current blog post series on interviews we have so far focused on interview questions and preparation for these. Now in the final one of the series we are going to look at what you need to know before you go, what to do when there, what to wear etc.
If you are offered an interview then congratulations, not everyone will get this far.
But there is still a fair bit to do. When you get all the details confirm the time of arrival and let them know as soon as you can that you will be attending.
Follow any pre-interview preparations. Do you need to book accommodation and travel in advance ?
Are any necessary costs refunded and are there any limits on cost ? Do you need to keep and submit receipts?
Double check everything a few days before.
What does the format of the day look like? When are any coffee and meal breaks scheduled just so you can eat beforehand if you can and aren’t too nervous? It will save a rumbling stomach in the interview itself.
Do you need to take anything with you and if so pack it all beforehand?
Leave with as much time as you can and plan to enter the premises with about 10-15 minutes to spare. Its better to get there a little early so you can observe the environment. However don’t get there too early especially if the premises are small.
Have the contact details of the company at hand so if you are unavoidably held up you can call someone to let them know. If they know in advance they can possibly rearrange the interview schedule round but if they don’t know they will assume you aren’t able to get there or aren’t coming at all!
Plan your outfit in advance A general rule of thumb is to dress as smartly as you can and you can always go more casual if need be by taking your jacket off.
So shirts, ties, jackets, suits are ideal.
A well groomed appearance is what you are aiming for but bear in mind the industry and what might work for them.
As you arrive
Report your arrival and follow instructions as to where to go or where to wait
Be courteous to everyone – everyone’s opinion may be sought.
During the interview
- Try and settle your nerves as soon as you can.
- Concentrate on the questions and answer them as well as you can
- Be specific and give good clear examples relevant to the question
- If you are unsure of a question ask if they can repeat it.
- Be aware of your body language and make eye contact.
- If it a panel interview address the person who has asked the question and look at the others form time to time.
- Show any work as needed efficiently so they aren’t waiting for you to filter through files or document to find it.
- Be put off if they are making notes.
- Appear over confident
- Give answers that are too short so you aren’t expanding on any details or too long so you are almost starting to repeat yourself.
- Assume anything- so if you think its going badly don’t worry, keep going. The interviewer may be asking harsh questions and everyone else facing an interview might be feeling a bit unsure.
- Also if you think its going really well don’t give up answering those questions to the best of your ability . It could be you are given an overall score so avoid the temptation to coast.
- Say goodbye and thank them for their time.
- Present any receipts, documents before you go as needed.
- On the way back make notes about how you feel it went. What did you answer well and what not so well? Could you improve your performance next time?
- Even if you feel its gone terribly badly resist at all costs the temptation to talk about it anywhere on social media.
Wait and see what the response is.
If you want any help on preparing for interview, a debrief afterwards to discuss what was good and not so good or even deciding between two or more job offers then contact the staff at the Careers Service for more help. We have staff who can help you at any stage of career planning and development.