So, you’ve landed a job interview? Whether it’s your dream career and your life goals rest on this, or it’s just a part-time
job paying minimum wage to tide you over whilst you find something more long-term or fund your studies, or whatever the reason, you will need to work hard and appear confident to pass the interview. You might think that good qualifications are all that it takes to impress your potential employer. Well, you are wrong. There are a few rules that you will have to follow if you want to be taken seriously by your interviewers.
The first impression your potential employer has of you is probably the deciding factor in whether or not you get the job at all. If you turn up to the interview looking dirty or unkempt, you will have ruined your chance.
Dress smartly, with clean clothes that are ironed and suitable for work. A suit is a good choice, no matter where the actual job is going to be or what it will involve you doing. Make sure your hair is clean and tidy, and your shoes are suitable too. If you are a man, remember to shave a few hours before the interview, as most employers prefer shaven men and feel offended when employees go to work looking sloppy.
Smile and make eye contact
Even if you are not feeling very positive, you’re at the interview so you might as well give it your best shot. Smile, make eye contact with your interviewer, and nod at appropriate moments, even if you don’t speak much or often.
Sit down and place your hands in your lap. Don’t nervously twiddle or thumbs or bite your nails, or even pull at your jewellery or clothes. If you feel you can’t avoid doing this, sit on your hands to stop you.
Respond to questions
Plan some answers to potential questions. Have a few key phrases you can come out with, such as explaining what you did in your previous jobs, why you left them, and what you feel you can contribute to the company. Preparing answers mean you will be less likely to hesitate or mumble one word responses.
Ask a question
If invited to do so, always ask a question. Some good examples are asking how you will fit in, who you would report to, if there are any opportunities for progression and when you will find out if your interview was a successful one. You could ask more than one question, but always ask at least one and try and avoid the subject of pay unless it is unclear or brought up by the employer.