You’ve done the leg work, you’ve applied for the job and you’ve successfully gained an interview. But then the nerves set in and you’re feeling a bit anxious. You only get one chance to shine, so what will give you the edge over the other applicants?
Research the company, as well as the role
Check out their website, look at their ‘About us’ section, see where their values lie. Take a look at their social media presence and online reviews and see how they’re viewed by the public. Researching the company not only shows you’re interested, but it may help clarify whether or not it’s a good fit for you.
Re-read the job description and think of examples or ways you relate to their needs. Is there anything about the role description that makes you want to know more? The interview process gives you the perfect opportunity to ask.
Prepare your ‘power’ outfit
When it comes time to choose your outfit for your interview, being prepared will make all the difference. Make your outfit role-appropriate. Turning up for a job at the local supermarket in a three piece suit may be a bit of overkill. On the flipside, you don’t want to turn up wearing jeans for an interview for the role of CEO.
Make sure that whatever you do choose, it’s an outfit you’re comfortable in. You want an outfit that makes you feel confident and one that fits well. You don’t want to be constantly fiddling with your collar because it’s too tight, or tugging at your skirt because it’s too short. It’s not a good look!
Try it on, iron and polish, and have everything ready to go. It doesn’t hurt to have a back-up outfit prepared too, just in case.
Read your resumé, and then read it again
Your resumé has been the first point of sale for the interviewer and they’re likely to ask questions about it. Knowing the content, and how it relates to the role, is important. Make sure to remember the information that particularly relates to the role you’ve applied for.
Think about your strong points, along with your weak ones
Knowing your strong points is a great start, but it’s common for an interviewer to ask about your weaknesses too. We all have them. Recognising what they are, and knowing how to answer this question, is important. Keep it work-related, and explain what you’re doing to resolve it. For example, ‘I’m not great at using Excel, so I’ve enrolled in an online course to learn more’. A weakness doesn’t always have to come across as a negative.
Interview the interviewer
Write your questions down and make sure you prepare more than one. Quite often your questions will be answered before you have the chance to ask them, so having some back up questions will help. Not only are they making sure you’re right for the job, but you want to know the job is right for you too.
Question time is also a good opportunity to ask if they have any concerns about how you might perform the role, which then gives you the opportunity to address their doubts.
Know how long it will take to get there, and allow for delays. It doesn’t hurt to do a practice run so you know exactly where you need to go. Have a contact number with you in case you’re held up. Sometimes there are situations where it just can’t be avoided, but communication is the key. And as far as getting there early, that’s great! Just don’t arrive too early. Around 10 minutes is fine.