Interview First impressions
Initial and lasting judgements are made on first impressions and within a very short period of time. Research indicates that around 92% of a judgment about a person is made within the first minute and a half of meeting them for the first time.
- Be sure you know the time, date and location of the interview and the name of interviewers.
- Decide how you will get there and when you need to set off to arrive in good time, anticipating any delays. If you are delayed, make sure you notify both the organisation and the recruitment agency acting on your behalf as soon as possible.
- Avoid any last minute panic by preparing what you’re going to wear the night before. Wear what you are comfortable in. Avoid under or over-dressing. It might be useful to check the dress code of the organisation by looking at pictures of staff on the organisation’s website or asking around.
- Have eye contact with each member of the interview panel. Do not just focus on the panel member who has asked the question you are answering. Engage all members of the panel.
- Smile! It suggests confidence. Be aware of your body language. You want to convey that you're enthusiastic, positive and energetic.
During the interview
1.Household / Company knowledge
An internet search will usually reveal all you need to know about the main people in the business and whether there have been any major changes recently.
2.Related skills and training
Your CV will contain the highlights of your education and career history but this is designed to be a concise document, so there may be other relevant points to discuss face to face. Before going into the interview, make a list of the less obvious but equally important skills you’ve acquired over the years.
3.Measurable examples of success / achievements
It’s highly likely that your interviewer has already met several other candidates for the role, so you need to make sure you stand out from the competition. You should discuss situations where you demonstrated these qualities with a positive effect. For example, if you do pride yourself on your people skills then you may want to talk about a time when you led a team, helped a colleague or were commended for your excellent customer service.
4.Positive attitude and flexibility
In most roles, there are times when you will be expected to go above and beyond the call of duty, or do something that doesn’t technically fit within your remit, in order to get the job done. This is all part of the natural ebb and flow of working life and not something to be shirked.
Be polite to everyone you meet, from the receptionist to your potential boss. Smile, say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ when appropriate and show that you would be a friendly and valuable member of the team. When it comes to making a final decision between two equally qualified candidates, the one who comes across as most personable is bound to get the job!