Moving house, getting married and changing jobs are considered three of the most stressful events someone can experience. We can’t help you move house and we’re not very good at planning weddings but we are experts at job interviews and we can help you prepare.
The excitement begins when you get that call to schedule your first interview for an amazing role at a great company. You can already picture yourself working in the position. Then the nerves kick in and you begin to worry, what if I don’t ‘rock’ the interview? How do I prepare for the interview?
We’re going to tell you exactly what you need to worry about so you can create a ‘plan of action’ for the interview, allowing you to conduct yourself better, keep your nervous at bay and let your strengths stand-out.
To prepare, you need to know what elements will improve your performance. So here are the 10 most important things to worry about before an interview:
1. Where is the interview?
Amazingly, statistics tell us 23% of interviewees do not check the location of the interview and need to call the line manager 5 minutes before the scheduled to start to say ‘I’m lost,’ causing you to arrive late or not at all, in some cases. Not the best first impression for a potential employer.
2. Who are you meeting?
Research everyone you will be meeting: Learn about their background and the successes they achieved during their career. Do you know anyone in common? Do you share similarities in achievements?
3. What questions are you going to ask?
Prepare insightful and thought-out questions for the point in the interview when you are asked, ‘do you have any questions for us?’
Write down 5 questions to help you understand how you can excel in this role, demonstrate your enthusiasm and learn more about the role and company, so you can make sure it is a right fit for you too.
4. Learn the STAR method?
Learn how to answer questions using the STAR method:
T – task
A – action
R – result
5. Figure out what you are going to wear
It is common practice to wear a suit and tie to make a great first impression. However, this type of outfit may not be the best fit for the company culture.
Do your research, gain an understanding of the company. Match what you wear to the culture and paint yourself as ‘fitting in’ even before you sign that contract of employment. If it’s a start-up, chances are it’s a relaxed environment and nice jeans or pants with a button up shirt are appropriate, whereas, if it’s a corporate environment, then a suit is your best bet.
6. Consider your first impression
You only get one chance to make a good first impression. From the moment you step inside the offices, make a good first impression with everyone you meet. Ensure you are smiling, smartly dressed and ready to engage in ‘small talk.’
A firm handshake and eye contact are recommended too. From the moment you meet the hiring manager, how you perform can easily determine how the rest of the interview will go.
7. Everyone is interviewing you. How will I react?
Most businesses employ a relatively flat structure nowadays and therefore, everyone’s impression of you counts. Treat everyone you meet with equal respect and consideration, no matter what their role. From the moment you arrive and are greeted, put your game face on and dial up the charm.
8. Accept the water or coffee.
The majority of potential employers will offer you a coffee or a water on arrival. Accept it and do it in a positive manner. It may seem trivial but the ability to ‘seem’ like a colleague helps the dynamic of the interview be more neutral.
9. How will I exit?
Given the opportunity, bid farewell to the team. This shows an openness to embrace the team and more importantly a desire to be part of it.
10. Bring a pen and paper.
Ask the interviewer for their contact details and write a follow-up email. Thank them for their time and highlight your eagerness to fulfil the position. Surprisingly, this will help you breeze into the top 15-20% of candidates if things have gone well.
Need more interview tips? We’ve got a bunch! Check out our advice:
This article was written by Martin Collins, Founder & Managing Director at Red Executive