1. Research the company prior to interview. Find out as much information as possible, such as organisation size, type, outlook etc. The Internet and library can be good starting points for research. Your knowledge will not only indicate enthusiasm to the employer, but also allow you to consider the company and be sure that this is the type of organisation you would like to work for.
2. Study the job advert, job description or any additional information the employer/recruitment company has sent you. This knowledge will help to build up a picture of the kind of person the employer is looking for.
3. Confirm your attendance for the interview. Employers might specify a preferred means of confirmation such as telephone or in writing and always endeavour to reply in the correct method. If the interview has been arranged by a recruitment company, they will act as the middle link and confirm on your behalf.
4. Know exactly where the interview is to be held and how to get there. If you are unsure of a company’s location ask for directions or a map. Have a practice run the day before to check the time of travel, if interviews are taking place in the company office this can also act as a gauge of potential daily travel to and from work, another factor to be considered.
5. Arrive in plenty of time. At least ten minutes early.
6. Have a consistent attitude and manner. Even before you have met the interviewer your actions may be monitored. Treat the receptionist the same way you treat the interviewer. Read company information in reception as opposed to a newspaper.
7. Be prepared for the type of questions the interviewer is likely to ask. The range of potential questions is very wide. To assist you we have set out a sample of interview questions (see Examples of Questions).
8. First impressions are last impressions. When the interviewer arrives, stand up, smile and shake hands firmly.
9. Contain your nerves. There can often be silences or gaps in conversation whilst walking to the interview room. This is perfectly normal. Contain the urge to fill these gaps with nervous chatter. Jobs can be lost within the first thirty seconds of meeting your potential employer.
10. Speak clearly.
11. Body language can play a large part in your presentation. Where possible maintain eye contact with the interviewer and sit comfortably in the chair without slouching or fidgeting.
12. Dress smartly. Ensure a clean and tidy appearance and keep jewellery, piercings or other body art to a minimum (they may not be to everyone’s taste).
13. Listen carefully to the interviewer’s questions. It is very easy to misinterpret a question and thereby give the wrong answer.
14. Be prepared to ask questions. As a result of company research and reading all the job information you should have prepared at least two or three questions, which hopefully you will be invited to ask at the end of the interview. The interviewer will normally talk about the salary and benefits the company can offer. Only ask questions about salary and benefits at final interview stage or, if you are going through a recruitment company, leave salary negotiations up to them.