Preparation, preparation and yes, more preparation
Take time to research and prepare prior to your interview. Learn more about the company, what they specialise in, plus any projects or clients they have worked with. Make a note of what impresses you and think of ways to incorporate this into your responses on the day. It’s also advantageous to know a bit about the people conducting the interview. Jump on linkedIn and have a whizz through their professional profiles. This research could give you the golden edge on any competition as well as providing relevant conversation ideas that could help build rapport and boost engagement levels.
Tip — While researching, remember to make notes and then devise some powerful questions to ask the interviewers.
How will I know what to wear?
This is where your research will come in handy! No one wants to turn up in their Sunday best, when the employers are kicking around in Nike high tops. Identifying the culture of your potential new company means you can avoid any serious fashion faux pas. Find out ahead of time so you can pick out the perfect outfit. Mirroring their team dress code in an interview can help make you stand out, for all the right reasons. You can simply ask your friendly recruitment team or do a quick search on the company’s social channels to get the lowdown.
Common questions — know your answers
Obviously every job interview will be slightly different but you can almost guarantee that a few classic questions will be asked. Some of the most common:
These are the sort of questions you should be preparing yourself for. Memorise your responses and share them proudly. These questions can often stump candidates, so don’t let it be you!
Actions speak just as loud as your words
Body language can be a give away at the best of times, but especially in an interview scenario. Simple things like crossing your arms or lack of eye contact can send clear signals to your potential employer that you are bored and don’t want to be there. Don’t be afraid to ‘talk with your hands’, make a joke (appropriate of course) or give them a flash of your pearly whites! It often shows that you’re passionate about what’re talking about. Make sure to maintain eye contact with your audience. How should you approach the handshake situation? Well, No one wants to feel like they are holding a wet fish, so make sure your handshake is firm and confident. Research has shown that body language is as memorable as what you actually say out loud, so get those signals working!
Write down questions you have for the interviewer and ask them!
This is a two-way process. It’s important for you to ensure you get what you need from the interview as much as they do. Ask questions that will help you to understand more about whether this is the right opportunity for you. Examples include; what are the biggest challenges in this role? What is the company culture like? What do you like most about the company? etc. Thoughtful questions help to demonstrate your interest and give a great insight into what kind of employee you could be.
A simple thank you goes a long way
Don’t forget your manners — at the end of the interview remember to say thank- you to everyone that made time to meet with you. It’s so simple, but extremely effective. It’s okay to share how exciting the opportunity sounds to you and say that you are keeping your fingers crossed for a good outcome. Say a goodbye to the receptionist as you walk out and think about dropping an email thanking them for their time when you get home. Something as simple as this can give you the advantage over other candidates.
Arrive 15 minutes early.
No one wants to arrive at an interview with beads of sweat forming on their brow or so puffed out they need 20mins to recover from taking the 1,000 steps in the tube. Make sure you leave with plenty of time to ensure that you aren’t late. Anything can happen on the streets of London! Potential hold ups could be caused by multiple dogs being walked, groups of tourists getting a selfie in front of Buckingham Palace or plain old road works! Being late not only indicates that you aren’t punctual but that you have poor time management skills. Both of these are usually key parts to most jobs! Aim to be 15 minutes early and make sure you check your route before leaving!
Tip — if it’s a corporate environment, wear trainers on your journey there and then do a quick change before going in. This is especially handy for anyone needing to wear heels!
Last, but not least! Be yourself.
Remember, you have been invited to the interview stage because of who you are! The employer isn’t looking for you to be anyone other than you! Unless they were expecting Brad Pitt to roll in, be yourself. Bring your sense of humour, answers to questions that are truly yours and lastly have fun! Its infectious — so if you have fun, chances are everyone else will too!