Preparing For Your Interview

You finally get the call you’ve been hoping for; you’ve been asked to come in for a job interview. Despite the good news, you will no doubt feel nervous as you begin to think about what questions they might ask, what you should wear and what you should take with you?

Here are a few pointers to help you get through the interview process:

1. Your Dress Code

The position you are applying for will determine your dress code to some extent, but the casual look is never a good option. It’s advisable not to turn up for an interview in jeans, even if you are going for a waitressing job.

In the corporate environment, wearing a suit to an interview is of course expected. You want to look professional and serious about the job you have applied for. Remember that this is the employer’s first impression of you so make sure you consider all the little details.

Ladies, make sure your makeup is natural and you are appropriately dressed. Turning up for an interview in a short skirt and lots of makeup may put some employers off. Gentlemen, make sure your shirt is ironed and tucked in and your shoes are shined. Making sure your hair is brushed and tidy.

2. Be On Time

This cannot be stressed enough; arriving even one minute late for an interview can ruin your chances of getting the job. Time management is important in any industry and knowing you will be on time for work each day is important to any employer – what message does it send if you can’t even make the interview on time?

If the interview is in the heart of the city with limited parking available, make sure that you arrive early – a coffee or a short walk around what could potentially be your new place of work might be useful.

3. Be Confident

It’s understandable to be nervous at an interview, this is not uncommon and the employer will take this into consideration. However, it is important to not let nerves get the better of you, keep calm and speak confidently and honestly. Take time to think about each questions – deep breaths and pauses in between your sentences will help you relax. If your nerves are particularly bad, you may want to avoid caffeinated drinks, such as coffee or tea.

4. Documentation to Take Along

Take any certification or ID that may be required for the employer to verify, such as a passport of driving license. If you have a longer version of your CV available, this can also be helpful.

Placing copies in a file that you can leave with the employer is a good idea, enabling them to go through the paperwork at a later stage. It also shows your willingness and initiative.

5. Listen to Each Question Carefully

It sounds obvious, but an important note that many prospective employers take into consideration is the applicants listening skills. Even the most nervous applicant can listen carefully to each question and then answer. Don’t let your mind wander, give your full attention to the interview, answer each question as honestly as possible and add any further information you feel is relevant to the position being offered. If you don’t understand a question, then ask for clarification – ignoring a difficult question will only go against you, but attempting to answer it can only go in your favour.

6. Research

The research you gathered on the company when you were compiling your CV can be useful in your interview. Knowing a company’s principals and aims will enable you to state abilities, qualifications and achievements that fit.

Employers appreciate applicants who take the time to do their homework before attending an interview. It will also enable you to ask questions when given the opportunity to do so; this shows not only your interest, but the fact that you did take the time to research the company.

7 . Don’t Just Leave

Most employers will give you the opportunity to ask questions as the interview nears the end – make sure you have some (it shows an interest and desire to learn).

You may want to ask when you can expect a response regarding your application, when they are looking for the applicant to start work or any other relevant questions you can think of asking. Such questions can even include the type of computer software that they use. Just keep it relevant.