Good first impressions count. Now, I’m not talking about when you first walk through the door, no, rewind… I’m talking about your CV. Your CV gives the interviewer a first impression of you, before you’ve even had the chance to give one yourself. Check your spelling, check to make sure all of the dates of employment add up, check your details are correct, tailor it to the specific job you’re going for, add achievements you are proud of! The chances are, if you’ve got an interview booked, the interviewer has already seen your CV, but if you notice it’s not right, fix it and send it over prior to the interview. Nine times out of ten, the interviewer has already found something wrong, and they are waiting to quiz you on it during the interview. Beat them to it - show your attention to detail.
Preparation and Research
No matter what style your interview is, face to face, question and answer, a trial task or a presentation, preparation is key! Research the employer, the market, their competitors, and their values. Most of this information can be easily accessible online, the company website, the job advert or similar job descriptions! Practice, but not too much – you want to sound confident in your answers, but not rehearsed. Let your personality shine through and add personal experiences into your answers, after all, it is YOUR interview!
Arrival & First Impressions
Arrive 10 minutes early, no earlier, no later, and dress as you would in a formal office environment. I’d recommend formal business attire – you can’t be overdressed! Don’t go overboard on the aftershave or perfume, remember, interview rooms don’t tend to be very big...
As you meet your interviewer, remember that it takes as little as 90 seconds for them to form an opinion of you, which can be very hard to change during the rest of the interview. Make sure it’s a good one. Maintaining eye contact, a smile and positive body language are essential!
So, you’ve tailored your CV, and you’ve arrived 10 minutes early. You’re suited and booted, smelling nice, but not too nice, 90 seconds has passed and you’re ready to start answering some questions...
During the Interview
You’re not worried, as you’ve researched common questions asked during an interview. You know when they ask you to “tell me about yourself” it’s your chance to give a short summary, lasting a few minutes, about YOURSELF. This is not a question about your past work experiences or your qualifications, nope, this is about yourself. Include anything which differentiates you from the other applicants they will be seeing today - why do they want to spend all day every day with YOU as opposed to the others?
Once this is done, they then will want to know about your current situation, current employment, and will likely ask why recruitment? now is your chance to talk about why recruitment at this moment in time is right for you. What have you accomplished with your university course or current employer and what value can you bring to them if they were to employ you?
What you say during this time, is only half of what you’re being judged on. 67% of people fail to make eye contact during an interview and 38% of people fail to smile! I know it can be awkward staring deep into somebodies' eyes, especially someone you’ve known for less than an hour, so to make it easier, stare at their nose – they won’t know the difference! Interviewers want to see energy, personality and most of all confidence.
Every interview is different, nobody can ever be 100% prepared for an interview – and the truth is, no employer wants you to be 100% prepared for what’s thrown at you. They want to see that you can think on your feet and react well to certain situations. So if something comes up which you may not have been expecting – good. Now is your chance to really stand out. Most importantly, be confident.
That’s how you compete against the others, now – to get ready for starting your new job…
If you would like to know more, head over to our careers page!