Great news – you been invited to attend a face to face interview. A great opportunity to sell yourself.
It is essential you do your homework, as is the case with every form of interview. You must know the company’s business and their key numbers plus any events you have found out about them through your research. It is also advisable to research the background of the interviewer.
Know where you are going
Do a dry run to establish how long it will take you to get to the arranged location which will ensure you are not flustered on the day of the interview. If you are running late as a result of unforeseen circumstances phone or text the interviewer to advise them. Ask your recruiter for the interviewer’s mobile telephone number and also ask the recruiter to furnish the interviewer with your number.
What to wear
Look the part! – look good, feel good. Ask your recruiter what is the most appropriate attire? If the organisation you are being interviewed by dress in shorts and tee-shirts arriving in your million-dollar suit is so not right! Whatever you wear you must look smart.
Shoes should be shiny, hair tidy, nails clean etc. Do not have a crafty cigarette before the interview as the smell of cigarette smoke is off putting for many.
Whilst conforming still retain your own style.
Take a copy with you and know it inside out. By knowing your cv inside out you can anticipate what the interviewer is likely to home in on – e.g. career gaps. Be positive about previous employers and the experience you gained whilst employed.
Arrive in reception 5 minutes prior to the appointed time. This gives you ample time to sign in, engage in pleasantries with the person on reception (smile!) and go to the rest-room if you need to. Turn off your mobile phone.
Meeting the interviewer
It is essential you smile when meeting the interviewer and shake hands in a positive manner. Eye contact is also important as it is throughout the whole interview process.
The interview itself
Interviews can take many formats so if you are able to establish from your recruiter some information about the format this can only be beneficial. If you are unable to gain any prior knowledge, then the best advice I can give is to be prepared for anything and take it in your stride. Remain positive throughout the interview. Do not be over familiar will the interviewer but do show off your human side.
You will be asked far more questions that you ask during the interview process. Endeavour to give examples but without over talking. Waffling is not regarded as a positive trait and the one-line monosyllabic answer will ensure your application is not pursued.
Be prepared for the bulk standard questions such as – where do you see yourself in five years’ time? What are your strengths / weaknesses? How would your friends describe you? Also it would be advisable to have two or three prepared questions that you can ask the interviewer. Do not ask the interviewer any technical question they might be able to not answer as they might find this humiliating – a sure bet to not receive an invite back for a second interview!
Things to think about during the interview –
Your enthusiasm levels – you need to be enthusiastic but not over the top – a happy medium!
Be positive as employers do not hire negative individuals.
Be yourself – do not put on a front, you will come unstuck!
If you answer a question not as well as you felt, you should not give up – you will not be judged on the back on one answer.
Follow up the interview with an email either later that day or the following day to firstly thank the interviewer and secondly reiterate your interest.
This blog piece was written by Philip Macdonald, Co-Founder at Wade Macdonald.