An interview is a two-way selection process. You and the employer are assessing each other to find out if you are the right fit for the organisation. It is important to prepare and present yourself well.
Like any stage of job search, preparation and research can help you put your best foot forward. To prepare:
- research the employer and industry (refer to the information in the previous career stages)
- read your job application and the advertisement again
- refer to information about the interview and contact the Recruiting Manager to clarify the dates, location and requirements if necessary
- drive to the location in advance to see how long it takes and where to park your car
- visualise a perfect interview
- focus on how you will promote yourself
- think about your strengths and career goals
- think about responses to typically asked questions
- practice answering questions with a career advisor or friend
- prepare questions that you may ask
First impressions count. Consider the message you send an employer through your verbal and non-verbal communication.
- invest in a good quality outfit
- dress tidily and lean towards a more conservative look
- be polite to everyone you meet including the receptionist as they may be asked for their opinion of you
- carry a well-organised job folder
- bring your resumé and job application to refer to
- listen carefully
- be positive
- be professional, but be yourself
- be late
- put your sunglasses on your head
- chew gum
- carry bags / folders that might make it difficult to shake hands
- arrive smelling of cigarettes or overpowering perfume/aftershave
- crease your clothing and jacket in the car (hang it if you can)
After the interview
- After breathing a big sigh of relief, you should also review your performance in the interview.
- Note down the things you handled well and any surprises you might not have anticipated.
- Use the experience to help you improve your skills for future interviews.
- After the recruitment process, you could also consider calling the interviewer for feedback.