So you’re one of the lucky few who have been offered an interview, whether it’s for your dream job, or a stopgap to fill you in until your chosen career comes along, it’s important to get it right.
You’ve done well to get this far, your cover letter and CV must have impressed, so be sure not to disappoint when you turn up for your interview.
A job interview can be a daunting experience, but if you’re well prepared, much of the potential issues can be avoided.
Preparation is key: you may think you can get through the interview with your wit and charm, but prospective employers aren’t looking for someone who can charm their socks off, they are looking for someone who will do the job they require, and do it well. If you’ve applied for an “experience required” job and have never done the job before, you may be in for trouble, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll be hired.
So do your prep-work prior to the interview, chances are you’ve already researched the company in order to write a good cover letter, so keep that knowledge with you, take a copy of your CV and cover letter so both you and the interviewer(s) are singing from the same songsheet.
Ensure you’re dressed well, and appropriately for the role – that doesn’t mean if you’re going for a motor mechanics job you should arrive in overalls, but you should make an effort and be smartly dressed. Expectations of an interviewer will vary depending on the company or role, so be prepared.
If you’ve been honest with your CV then everything should go smoothly, I remember a conversation I had with the Managing Director of DroidStar Electronics about someone who appeared at an interview for their smart tv box shop wearing bermuda shorts and a celtic kit, whilst you may happily buy an Android TV box from someone who dressed like that, it doesn’t give the best first impression to an interviewer – for some roles, dress casual, yes, but look like you’ve walked in from a holiday on the Costa and you’re not looking like the ideal candidate! Needless to say, there were not employed. but if you’ve stretched the truth a little then you may be in for an uncomfortable interview, if you’re asked a question, be honest – getting a job based on a lie could lead to problems down the line.
No amount of intelligence will make up for ill preparation, often the person interviewing you will have seen all of the tricks in the book, they will have performed countless interviews and it is them doing you a favour by interviewing you, not the other way around, so be respectful, polite and knowledgable.
At the end of most interviews you will be asked for your thoughts on how it went, and if you have any questions – it may be that you understood everything perfectly well and don’t have any questions, but try to have at least one or 2 questions you can ask – it shows you’re keen, and employers like keen.
Once the interview is over, you will generally be given an idea of how long it will be before you hear back – unfortunately many companies don’t have the time to contact every unsuccesful candidate, but some may. If you’ve not heard back in a reasonable amount of time you may wish to make a follow up call, be polite and make your enquiry. If you’re told you got the job, great! Well done! If not, then don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, handling a rejection in a professional manner may just see you considered for future posts over someone who didn’t follow up.