Put your best foot forward with these practical interview tips:
Research the company on the internet and know the job specification that you are being interviewed for. The aim here is to match your current skills and experience to the company and their vacancy. Know what is on your CV and social media profiles. Know your salary earnings as well as your realistic expectation (make allowance for travelling costs). It’s always good to go with a copy of your payslip and CV – professionally packaged.
Ladies: Dress conservative-professional with neat and tidy hair, minimal make up and jewellery. Avoid short skirts, tight shirts or cleavage-showing tops. Closed high heels are great, but only if you can walk in them – otherwise flats are acceptable!
Gents: Suite, collared shirt and tie. Neatly shaven, if you have a beard ensure it’s trimmed. Hair must be neatly cut.
Piercings/Tattoos: For an interview, try to be conservative with your body art. You never know what the company’s culture is like.
Before the interview, make sure that you know where the company is located and how to get there. It is recommended to arrive 10-15 minutes before the scheduled time, earlier than that – wait a while before going to reception (it’s about respecting the interviewer’s time).
Greeting: Stand up to greet, firm handshake, smile and eye contact are essential.
Body Language: Sit up straight, do not cross your arms – it is all about positive body language, appearing approachable and engaged. If you feel nervous, a top tip is to mimic that of your interviewer’s body language. This means sitting forward if they do, sitting back if they do. This will help you to relax and get into your stride.
Answering Questions: Allow the interviewer to control the meeting; keep your answers concise and to the point. If you have an opportunity, ask questions that are relevant to the company and the vacancy. Never ask questions about working hours, leave or salary in the first interview (you don’t want the interviewer to misinterpret that those are your only driving factors).
Strengths & Weaknesses Question: Know your strengths and be ready to give examples. Be honest about your weaknesses but give your thoughts on improving in those areas along with your answer.
Reason For Leaving: Be clear on your reasons for leaving your current and previous employers – have one pertinent answer for each that coincides with what is written on your CV.
Salary Question: If the interviewer initiates a conversation about salary, feel free to discuss it with confidence i.e. know your current earnings and expectation. Otherwise, don’t bring it up.
Conclusion: Thank them for their time and ask what the next step will be going forward.