Sometimes we’re so excited (or nervous) about an upcoming interview that we don’t give ourselves the best chance of nailing it. Following the simple steps will give you the best possible chance of surviving and thriving in your next interview.
Be punctual. If you don’t know exactly where the interview is taking place, do a practice run and work out how long it will take you to get there. Leave plenty of time on the day so you don’t arrive late and stressed. If you get there super early, grab a coffee somewhere nearby and try to remain calm.
Take what you need. Perhaps you’ve been asked to bring examples of your work or to give a presentation, or maybe you’d like to keep a copy of your CV in front of you for reference purposes. Write a checklist of everything you need to ensure you don’t forget anything and make sure anything you do take is in good nick so that you appear organised and well turned out.
Make a good first impression. This means dressing appropriately as well as being friendly and approachable. Make sure your interview outfit is ready in advance of the big day and that you are well groomed. Don’t forget to smile, shake hands and look your interviewers in the eye when you arrive, no matter how you’re feeling inside.
Research the company. You don’t need to know who makes the most cups of tea or what Angela did at the last work do, but it’s important that you have a good grasp of what the organisation does and stands for. Show that you care enough to have done some thorough research and explain why you would be a great fit.
Prepare for the common questions. Interviewers often ask the same questions over and over, so google the most frequent interview questions and practise your answers, either in front of the mirror or with a friend.
Don’t panic. You may feel you haven’t answered a question terribly well, or that you’ve said something that makes you sound unintelligent or unprepared. Whatever you do, don’t panic. You can still turn it around if you keep a clear head.
Take notes. It can help to relieve stress if you are taking notes, and will also jog your memory of what was said after the interview. You may even want to pre-prepare questions of your own to ask. Asking relevant questions will show that you are interested in the company and committed to the interview process.
End on a positive note. However you feel it went, be positive at the end of your interview. Saying something simple such as, ‘It was great to meet you’ or ‘I look forward to hearing from you’ can make a strong impression. If you really want to stay in the interviewer’s mind, send a thank you email when you get home.