It almost goes without saying; if you look untidy your interviewer will assume your work is untidy. This applies to your hair as much as to what you’re wearing.
Try to wear something appropriate for the job, so wear a suit if you are applying for a job that will require you to wear a suit. There shouldn’t be any need to buy a new outfit – you want to feel comfortable and wear something that doesn’t distract from you and what you are saying.
The most important thing is that you get a good night’s sleep beforehand and arrive in plenty of time so you look fresh and ready.
Do your research
Don’t be under any illusions; your interviewer is more interested in their business than in you. The easiest way to impress your interviewer is to show that you have researched the company and this will help you demonstrate that you really want the job.
If you can, find out exactly who will be interviewing you and what their position is within the company. Bear in mind that sometimes there might be more than one interviewer, and they may not work at the company.
It’s okay to be nervous, this is your big chance! Sometimes the best candidates are nervous, it shows you care. The important thing is that you are able to demonstrate why you are the right candidate for the job, so you need to be able to centre yourself and not rush your responses.
Steady yourself by taking a few deep breaths before you enter the interview room, and visualise yourself talking confidently and impressing your interviewer.
Remember that, to your interviewer, you are just another name on a long list. They will forget you instantly unless you allow yourself to shine.
Remember how bored your interviewer is? They don’t want to do all the work and have to coax answers out of you. Each question is an opportunity to demonstrate your skills, enthusiasm and experience.
Take the time to think about your work history and your future ambitions. Look at your CV and prepare an answer for any questions that it raises. For example, if you are asked about your two-year career break, make sure you have a great answer for how it made you a harder worker or helped you focus on your priorities. If you’ve had jobs in various industries, ensure you are able to demonstrate a coherent plan or common theme so that your future employer can see that you will be a dedicated member of the team.
Write down examples of the biggest challenges you have faced in work and how you overcame them. Think about how you can use these in your interview.
Don’t be tricked into talking negatively when asked questions such as What is your biggest weakness? Why are you leaving your old job? These are still chances for you to say something positive.
Try to leave your interviewer with the feeling that they’ve had an enjoyable conversation with you.
Asking questions can be another chance to impress your interviewer, eg.:
Would I be involved in the 2014 Conference in Manchester?
What opportunity is there for taking on more responsibility?
Is there anything that you were looking for in your ideal candidate that I haven’t demonstrated today?
but, often, your interview is one of the only chances you have to really find out what the role will entail, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.
CV advice and job vacancies for ICB members. Find out how ICB can help you prepare for that interview.
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