The competition is tough. You only get one chance to “make a first impression”
Look Good, Feel Good
Dress for confidence. An interview is always a formal event – men must wear a suit and tie, women a suit unless the client has specified not to. If you feel good, the interviewer/s will respond to you accordingly.
Never arrive late for an interview. As traffic problems are out of our hands, allow extra time to arrive early for your meeting. Aim to be seated in the reception area at least 15 minutes before the interview. This will allow yourself time to relax and compose yourself.
Knowledge of the company’s services, products, customers and competition will make you feel prepared and confident in the interview. Knowing the mission, vision, values and culture of the company will enable you to show the interviewer that you are on the same track and that you will fit in well. Looking at the company’s financial statements before the meeting is essential.
Take along a folder containing extra copies of your CV, academic record, copy of references and paper to take notes. Always have questions prepared to ask at the end of the interview.
A firm handshake and plenty of eye contact demonstrate confidence. Speak distinctly in a confident voice, even though you may feel shaky.
Listen, Listen, Listen
Make a conscious decision to actually listen to what is being said in the interview. Listening includes reading between the lines.
Answer The Question Asked
Think very carefully before answering the question. If you do not understand what is being asked, get further clarification before mistakenly giving the wrong answer. You will leave the interview kicking yourself for giving the wrong answer, and then it is too late.
Know Your Achievements
Before the interview make a list of where, what and how you have achieved at work, academically and at sport. You cannot say you are an achiever without backing it up with a success story. Your past behavior can indicate your future performance.
Always Ask Questions
Many interviewees don’t ask questions and miss the opportunity to find out valuable information. Your questions indicate your interest in the company or job. Some questions won’t give you answers and you may have to ask to meet your future peers, see the office setup i.e. just get a feel for the office environment.
Often interviewers will say you should contact them after the interview with any further questions via email or telephonic. DO IT. It starts to build a rapport and it allows you a further opportunity to remind the interviewer of the value you can bring to the job and company. This may be your last chance to market yourself.