Job interviews can be quite daunting, especially if you haven’t had many in the past, or are changing jobs after a long time in one role. The job market has been tough in recent years, and although the situation is slowly improving, there are still many more candidates that there are vacancies. Once you have got your foot in the door and got to interview stage, you need to be the candidate that stands out for all the right reasons and makes the best first impression on the interviewer.
One of the first things that people notice on meeting someone new is how they present themselves. What you wear and how well groomed you are, are likely to be the very first things that an interviewer notices about you. It is always best to go to an interview dressed in smart office clothes, unless it is explicitly stated otherwise. To add a feminine touch to the traditional suit, try a dress with a tailored jacket, tights and heels. You don’t have to spend a fortune to look the part, try a dress from George for style and professionalism at an affordable price. Make sure you hair is neat and a conventional colour, and any jewellery and makeup is kept simple and understated. You want to make sure that the main focus of the interview is what you have to say, so avoid any distractions in how you are presented.
Interviews are all the more scary if it has been some years since you have had one, or if the format is likely to be different to other experiences you’ve had. The key to success and overcoming nerves is to practice the interview as many times as you need beforehand. Make sure you read any documentation or job description you have been sent thoroughly and write down any questions you think they will be likely to ask. Have a look online for general interview questions that might be relevant and write these down too. Once you have a list of potential questions, ask a friend, or family member, to pose as the interviewer and practice answering the questions in your own environment. Try and think of an example from your life or work history to back up any claims in your answers to give them more weight with those interviewing you.
Remember to take a copy of your CV and any relevant qualifications or paperwork with you to the interview even if you have already sent these. Don’t be tempted to embellish or exaggerate on your CV or LinkedIn profile online as you could easily be caught out when questioned at interview. Your CV doesn’t need to be War and Peace, and being concise and sticking to one side of A4 is best, you can always elaborate when you are in front of the interviewer.
Don’t let nerves get the better of you. By being prepared, turning up early, and making the best first impression possible you stand a much better chance of landing that job. Think about what they are looking for and how you fit the bill, and make sure they are fully aware of your capabilities. Good luck!
Author: Ives Cross