Whether you are stepping up on the corporate ladder or making the dive into your first full time grown gig post study, know the steps you need to take once you get called in for an interview. Here are 5 tried and tested tips from a gal that has had close to 150 interviews in her life.
1. I am going to assume your CV checked out okay with HR and you have made it to the first interview stage. Great! But bear in mind that your interview has already begun. When applying for jobs be sure you have sharp phone answering skills, treat every phone call like it could be your potential employer even if it is your mum calling. And if an unknown number pops up answer your phone!
2. Before the interview familiarize yourself with the company through its website, Google and social media channels. Take the time to research on any awards they might have achieved. The more background knowledge you have the better. This is also a good time to check out the company culture, this should act as a beacon on your choice of attire. Is the company very corporate? or is it business casual?. I once went for an interview at what i thought would be a formal corporate environment (i did not check the social channels) when i arrived the entire office of wiz kid millennials were dressed in jeans and hoodies. I looked like the school principal coming in to do a classroom inspection. So take the time to get the feel of the company culture before you arrive.
3. Interview day: Ensure you are dressed to impress keep colors neutral with a pop of personality or color to ensure you don't come off bland. Prepare a copy of your CV and make sure you are carrying a pen and notepad. Try to arrive 30 minutes before the interview to ensure you can find parking and the building. You don't want to arrive late and sweaty from running six flights of stairs. It's important to note the receptionists impression of you will likely play a part in the hiring persons decision making, so ensure you are on time and polite.
4. Eye contact and a firm handshake when you meet with HR is important. Your eyes and your smile are the first things people notice when meeting someone new, ensure you have had sufficient sleep the night before and you have bright white teeth. Body language when being interviewed is equally important, try to avoid fidgeting, swaying or moving and just relax and remember the employer needs you as much as you need them.
5. Answer questions confidently and try to provide real-life examples to avoid the mundane stock standard questions. Try to steer the conversation by proudly stating your capabilities and give the hiring person the confidence in your abilities. If you get stuck on a question don't be afraid to ask for an example or simply respond the best way you know how. Have two prepared questions to ask HR - this will show them you have taken an interest in the company even if you already found the answers, always ask a question. When the interview is coming to a close allow the hiring person to see you out of the room and end on a high note by thanking them for seeing you today. With a bit of background research on a company, and personal preparation you should be ready to tackle any job interview with confidence and ease and get the call back or even the job of your dreams.