Interview Tips

Interviews

 

Prepare

  • Make sure you read and re-read any interview letters thoroughly to make sure you have all the correct details.  Often organisations will send out a pack with the letter containing some background information on the organisation, so please read these because they are sent for a purpose. Also, make sure you have thoroughly read the original job description and personal specification so you know all the details of the job you are going for.

  • Do some research on the company you are applying for; this can be done on the internet, through resources at libraries or simply by visiting the workplace.

  • Do a practice interview with a friend- this may sound a bit embarrassing but it is a good way to prepare you for an interview situation.

  • Find any documents you may need to take to the interview. You may want to take your CV or record of achievement so you do not have to worry about memorising all your employment/course details.

  • Have an early night before the interview and get your clothes ready the night before so you do not have to worry about them in the morning.

  • Be clear on where you have to go for your interview, you may feel more comfortable if you do a trial run a couple of days before the interview.

What to Wear

  • Be smartly dressed; make sure your clothes are clean, ironed and tucked into the appropriate places.

  • Turn off your mobile phone.

  • Take a can of deodorant in case you need to freshen yourself up, but do not go over the top with deodorant/perfume/aftershave as this can be off putting to the interviewer.

  • Take special care to make sure your hair looks nice, if you have long hair you may prefer to have it tied back.

  • Keep jewellery to a minimum.

  • Take out any piecing or if you cannot take them out cover them with tape.

The Interview

  • Turn up nice and early so you are not rushing around.

  • Have a drink of water before the interview so you do not dehydrate and lose your voice during the interview.

  • Be calm and relaxed, if you feel nervous and on edge you will appear that way to the interviewer.  You have no need to be worried; the interviewer is just the same as you and will probably be as nervous as you.

  • When asked questions take a few seconds to think of your answer and do not speak too fast because you need to give a clear answer that the interviewers will understand.

  • If you are being interviewed by a panel or more than one person try and have eye contact with all the people on the board rather than just one person.

  • If you do not understand a question, do not struggle to answer it, ask the interviewer to repeat it and explain it.

  • Be aware of your body language; do not slouch in the chair.

  • Interviewers want people who can show they have the required skills for the job, they are not after entertainers, so do not go over the top trying to be funny.

  • Try and think of some questions so that when they ask you if you have any questions at the end of the interview you will not be lost for words.  Do not ask about pay or holidays as this may give the employer the impression that you are not interested in the job.  A good example question is to ask about training opportunities.

  • Avoid saying anything negative, if you did not enjoy a past job, you do not need to say this in the interview.  Try and word things without being negative, for example if you left a job because you did not enjoy it, say that you left because of lack of job satisfaction.

  • Do not be afraid to sell yourself.  This may be your only chance to go for this job so do not be modest or shy, make sure you mention your good points, why you think you are the person for the job and what you think you can bring to the organisation.

  • Be honest.  If you lie in an interview it may backfire and the interviewer will immediately know you are a liar, which is unlikely to get you a job.

  • Many interviews include time for a test that will be relevant to the job (for example if you are going to admin job you may have a typing test).  Although the type of test can vary from job to job here a few tips to help prepare you for tests:
    • Read the question thoroughly before you rush into doing the test because you may miss out some vital information
    • If you have several questions to do, spread your time evenly rather than spending too much time on one question.
    • If the test is a written test then write the answers clearly so that whoever is marking can understand your answers.
If your interview requires you to do a presentation then make the most of flip charts and any visual aids that are offered to you.