For most of people, there is one just one word that sums up how we feel about going on a job interview: terrified! But see this as your chance to sell yourself in person and show that you can live up to the skills on your CV.
You want to shine in your interview, and show that you’re friendly, interesting and intelligent – not to mention a great fit for the company – while not showing those interview nerves. And while there’s no secret recipe to stop the jitters, the better prepared you are, the less likely it will be that you’ll be nervous.
The dos and don’ts
- A little homework goes a long way. Research the company you’re going to, and make sure you understand what it’s about and what it does. Also ensure you understand the requirements of the job you’re interviewing for and think of how you can talk about your skills in a way that aligns to those requirements.
- Search the company website. This way you can incorporate what you have read into your answers.
- Research your interviewer. Know how to pronounce his or her name, and know his or her gender and position in the company.
- Know your industry. Find out if there is any new legislation that you should be aware of, as well as any issues or groundbreaking discoveries. You want to show your interviewer that you are well informed and have made the effort to create a good first impression.
- Don’t get lost. There is nothing more stressful than running late because you don’t know the way to the company. Make sure you know where the premises are: search on Google Maps or take a drive there the day before if you’re not sure of the location. Being late because you got lost is not an acceptable excuse.
- Don’t be late – being late for any reason is unacceptable. Make sure you leave enough time to get there, find parking, freshen up and present yourself. Make allowances for unexpected traffic or other delays.
- Be prepared to ask questions. You’re unlikely to leave a good impression if the interviewer gives you the opportunity to ask questions and you don’t have any. That said, it’s often really hard to
What you should never do
- Don’t give too much or too little information when you answer questions
- Don’t mention salary or benefits unless the interviewer brings it up
- Don’t be negative about previous or current employers
- Don’t make jokes, swear or be too familiar
- Don’t check your phone or take calls, no matter how urgent. Switch your phone off or put it on silent
- Don’t chew gum
- Don’t smell of cigarette smoke