Going for an interview can be nerve-racking for the best of us whether you’ve got years of experience or this is your very first one.
Here are some of PRG’s top tips when going for an interview:
No matter whether this is your first interview or your 100th research is key! You can almost guarantee that you’ll be asked ‘What do you know about our company?’. By showing you’ve done your research, this gives off a strong impression that you are genuinely interested in the company. Employers want people that want to be part of their company and show enthusiasm for what they do.
What are the best sources to research? Start with a standard google search, look through their website and any information there might be in the news about them. Social medial channels such as twitter, LinkedIn or even Facebook business pages can give you an excellent insight into the company culture, awards they have, their goals and values and can provide a bit more personality to the company. Social media will help you go below the surface of what the company does and will show them you’ve gone the extra mile to understand more about who they are. Doing your research properly will also be really helpful for coming up with interesting and genuine questions.
When we say early, 10-15 minutes we’d advise is the optimum time. This not only gives a good impression that you’re organised but it also gives you time to take in your surroundings, breath and compose yourself. There’s nothing worse than turning up in a fluster, hot and bothered so give yourself the best chance!
If you don’t know the area of the company or the location is new to you, drive/walk/get the bus up there a couple of days before hand. Test the route out and see if the commute is doable for you and it’s a good way to make sure you don’t get lost on the day!
Find out what the dress code is, or if you’re working with an agency they should know whether its casual, smart or suited and booted. Whatever the dress sense is, its always best to go one up. For example, if the dress code is casual come to the interview smart-casual. It is always better to be over-dressed than under and will show that you’ve put time and effort in.
- If they offer you a glass of water, take one!
Why is this helpful? Not only to keep hydrated and save you in times of a dry mouth, it can be used strategically. If you find yourself talking too fast, getting your words mixed up or even if you need a moment to think about how you are going to answer the question; having a glass of water can provide the perfect moment to take a sip which buys you a couple of seconds to compose and start again.
- Don’t be afraid to show some personality
Your potential employer will want to see who you really are and what qualities you could bring to the table not only skill wise, but how you will fit in with the team and interact on a day to day basis. Be yourself and don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t as at the end of the day, you want to be a good fit for each other.
See yourself as a SOLUTION to their PROBLEM. They need your skills to help their business so how can you best showcase this? Go through the job specification and the skills they require and make sure you have great examples of how you can demonstrate these skills confidently. If there any skills you are missing or less experienced in – don’t lie and say you can do them but show you are passionate to undertake any training and that you are keen to learn more!
- Last impressions are as important as first impressions
Don’t rush out in a hurry. Make sure to thank them for their time and that you look forward to hearing from them, smile and end with a handshake if you can! When you’ve left the interview, follow up with an email thanking for their time and add in a couple of sentences on why you think you would be a good fit.