Right place, right time – Confirm the time and venue for your interview and don’t leave your journey to chance. Leave plenty of time for parking and traffic, or if travelling by public transport check the timetables and route.
Dress code – Although ‘dress down’ policies are sometimes the norm, it’s always safest to stick to a smart suit. You will be judged on attitude as well as appearance so greet your interviewer with a firm handshake, make eye contact and smile!
Fact find – Make sure you know about the company, who are their competitors? Make sure you understand the job and what it entails and consider whether you can take examples of your work with you.
Anticipate questions, prepare your answers – The company will want to find out what you are like as a person, how your skills fit, your history and your achievements. Think what you would ask if you were in their shoes. Go over your answers with a friend.
Sell yourself – If the company is interviewing several people you need to stand out, so impress them with your achievements and skills. Try to be specific and consider how they fit with the job, the more comfortable you are presenting these, the better they will come over to your prospective employer. Consider your Unique Selling Points.
Know your CV – Your interviewer may well have all the information in front of them but may ask for specific examples or more details so be prepared to add to what is on your CV. This is a chance to demonstrate your communication skills so make sure the answers add value.
Practice – If you are being asked to prepare a presentation make sure you know how long it needs to be and then practice to check your timings are right. Try presenting to a friend to build your confidence.
Ask questions – This is an opportunity to show you understand the company so make sure your questions are relevant and well thought out. It can also demonstrate your suitability as it may show what aspects of the job or company are important to you.
Listen and take notes – Don’t be afraid to write down information during the interview, it will show you are prepared and it may remind you of something that will help if asked to return for a 2nd meeting.
Your exit – Leave with a smile and a firm handshake. It may help to make some notes afterwards about the meeting so that if you follow it up with a letter or e-mail you can stress your interest in the job and demonstrate your enthusiasm.