Follow these useful tips to master (or simply survive!) your next interview... Whether it's your dream job or the next step in your career, following basic interview etiquette will give you confidence and take the pressure off so you can seize the opportunity and just enjoy the experience!
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KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
You may have already looked into the company you're seeing, but look again! Research the business, its values, mission and achievements and get to know your interviewers too. Take your time to look into the latest company news for recent or upcoming projects to demonstrate your interest and make a great impression. What's more is that you'll never be stuck for something valuable to say during your interview, even if you stumble on another question, your intrigue into the business will speak a thousand words...
Good eye-contact and a friendly, sincere smile demonstrate confidence in yourself, even if you're a little nervous. Remember, it's simply a conversation - you've had plenty of those, right? Allow your natural personality to shine through and don't forget your manners. Always introduce yourself and thank your interviewers for taking the time to see you, it will go a long way and help you to relax and break the ice somewhat. Remember we are all only human and so just do your best!
No doubt there will be a few of those classic interview questions... 'where do you see yourself in 5 years?' ...Well if you know they're probably coming, it's a good idea to prepare some answers to common questions ahead of your meeting. Have a clear idea of the message(s) you want to convey and what skills, experiences, work ethics and personal traits you want to highlight in order to give your answers some clarity. And for those curveball questions you weren't expecting - listen intently and take your time to answer to the best of your ability.
HOLD YOUR NERVE
It's one of life's most nerve-wracking experiences, even the most out-going and seasoned interviewees get anxious ahead of their moment. Good planning, plenty of research and preparation will put your mind at ease and alleviate the matters that are within your control. Relieving yourself of this added pressure will enable you to concentrate on seizing the opportunity to take your next career step.. Give it your best shot, smile... and breathe... Making sure you get a good night's sleep beforehand will help to calm your nerves and so take your time, stock up on those zzz's, relax and enjoy the experience as best you can!
DON'T BE LATE
FOR A VERY IMPORTANT DATE
It almost goes without saying, but always arrive in PLENTY of time. Allow yourself enough time for failings out of your control like late trains and buses, busy traffic or trouble finding a parking space. Punctuality is key and it will keep you from feeling rushed and flustered! You want to avoid signing in earlier than 10 minutes before the meeting as your interviewers are likely to be on a schedule and maybe holding a number of interviews throughout the day. Be sure to introduce yourself with a friendly smile and engage with whoever greets you, for they are part of the team, and this is part of the process!
THE 'JUST IN CASE' SCENARIO
You never know what could happen, but preparing for the 'unlikely event' is always a good idea for your peace of mind and for displaying your initiative too. Think about things like parking and transportation, the weather - do you need to plan a spare or alternative outfit? Always carry with you a pen, notebook and your CV and save the company's contact details and address on your phone incase you need to call with any updates, information or to ask for directions (though you will have checked them out on Google maps first, of course!) ...all of this, just in case!