So, your CV has been noticed, you got the call and you have a job interview tomorrow. Good, right? Nerve-wracking, more like it. The scary truth is that when you interview for a job you have one single shot at making an impression on your interviewer, a fact that puts a lot of pressure of jobseekers. This is where interview skills come in handy. Knowing that you are properly prepared will increase your confidence, and therefore improving your chances of making a good impression.
Here are a few things that might help when preparing for an interview:
- Get enough sleep the night prior to your interview: You may be tempted to celebrate the fact that you got an interview, but now is not the time. Being tired, or even worse, hung-over, on the day if your interview is a definite deal breaker. You have to present your best possible self and, as such, should appear fresh, confident and calm.
- Dress suitably: While formal attire is the norm when it comes to interviews, a suit can sometimes be overkill. A good rule of thumb is the following: does the job you are interviewing for require you to liaise with clients face-to-face on a daily basis? If yes, go dressed to the nines. If not, slacks or a skirt of adequate hem length, a neatly pressed shirt and a pair of clean, neat, closed shoes will do the trick. Also ensure that you are properly groomed on the day. For men this means shaven/neatly trimmed head- and facial hair. For ladies this means clean hair tied up or pinned back out of the face and discreet makeup. Both sexes should take care with the length and cleanliness of their nails, as well as the potency of their cologne/perfume if they choose to wear any.
- Be on time and come prepared: Never, ever, ever be late for an interview if you can help it. If you are interviewing in a strange city or a part of town you are unfamiliar with it is best to drive the route beforehand and determine how long it will take to get to your destination. That way you will know for sure how much time you have to factor in for travel. On the other hand, being too early can also be inconvenient for your prospective employer. Depending on the size and nature of the business, their waiting room may be exclusively for the use of clients. Always bring along a few copies of your CV and portfolio (if applicable), for perusal by your interviewer. Neatly bind these documents and bring them along in a document holder.
These are just a few of the things you can do to make a good impression on the big day of your interview. Please check this page regularly, as we will be adding new information on specific interview preparation strategies on a regular basis. Until then, best of luck!