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So the CV got you in the door, but that’s just the start of it. The face to face interview is where you 'clinch the deal'.
Interviewing well can sometimes be more important than actual relevant career experience.
Often, the person who interviews best is offered the position over the person with the more relevant career experience.
Remember, once you’re in the door, your CV has done its job, now it’s over to you.
Your CV will have meant you are on at least equal footing with other applicants and the employer will be satisfied that you have the relevant
experience to be invited forward for interview. Now is the time to make yourself stand out as being head and shoulders above the competition.
This is your big chance to really promote yourself, so it pays to prepare.
Doing the homework
- Before entering the interview door make sure you know the background to the company, their key activities and detail about the job in question
- Access the company’s website
- Request company marketing literature
- Research the company’s market sector and competition on the internet
- Use your research to make sure you have a list of questions to ask the interviewer
(Refer to the ‘Interview Questions’ page of this website for some ideas)
Preparing for the day
- Do a dummy run to ensure you know exactly where you are going for the interview
- Prepare answers to the classic / standard interview questions
- Make sure you know your own C.V.
On the day
- If you don’t arrive early, you’re late. Allow plenty of time for parking and signing in at reception etc
- Aim to arrive at least 15 minutes before your interview time. This will allow you time to relax rather than rushing, and will make a good impression with the employer
- Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake, a positive smile and good eye contact
- Don’t worry! It’s easy to be your own worst enemy by clamming up and being nervous. Remember, you’re talking about something you’re an expert on, you. Be yourself, talk confidently about your experience and skills and enjoy the interview
Look the part
- You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. If you look the part, there is an initial assumption you can do the job
- Dress professionally. A dark business suit works well, with a co-ordinating shirt and tie for men and a shirt or formal top for women
- Keep jewellery to an absolute minimum. Ideally just wedding ring and watch
- Do not chew gum during the interview or whilst waiting
- Do not smoke before the interview. You want the interviewer to be bowled over with how smart you are, not overpowered with the smell of cigarettes