Guidance for getting the interview right
The Interview is
- the chance to win that job or ….
the chance to lose that job?
The answer is both!
By being invited for interview your potential employer is signalling that he believes that you can do the job. Always, always, remember this simple but so important fact.
By being invited for interview, you have beaten, possibly, several hundred other applicants; your CV and covering letter have fulfilled their functions admirably.
All you need to do now is prove that the employer was right in choosing to meet you.
Get it wrong, and you have a superb opportunity to lose the job!
So, let us list a few dos and don’ts.
- Do arrive on time – there is no (acceptable) excuse for being late; if the employer is seeing other applicants it is entirely possible he may not have the time to meet with you. You will not recover from this situation, even if you regard yourself as being an innocent victim – just don’t be late!
- Do dress appropriately – dress as your interviewer will expect you to dress
- Do research both the employer and, where possible, the interviewer. The ability to demonstrate initiative is of great importance, and can set you above other applicants.
- Do ask questions – when the interviewer asks you, at the end of the meeting, if you have any more questions, make sure that you have! Save one especially for this moment. It is, quite possibly, the most important question you will be asked, and you must have a question prepared. Not asking questions is the most common reason for failure at the interview stage. Typically, you might ask if the interviewer has any reservations regarding your ability to do the job – at least this gives you the opportunity to address your potential employers concerns.
- Do make eye contact – look directly at your interviewers, no, not stare, but maintain eye contact, friendly posture and so on, be relaxed.
- Do not condemn/criticise present/last employer – this is instant death!
- Do not over-emphasise money – this is often not even mentioned at a first interview
- Do not respond with mono-syllable answers – ‘No”, ‘Yes” are insufficient, give a reasoned explanation.
Find out more about job interviews on the National Careers Service website or view these 8 common job interview questions with answers: