Preparing for your interview needs some effort but its not that difficult. At least give yourself some justice and a fighting chance considering you have investment in your CV and it got you this far, and the first impressions it has set.
It might seem to be obvious but make sure that you plan to arrive for the interview with plenty of time to spare and always take a copy of the interview details or agency details that is sending you there, so that if there are any issues, you can call ahead of time and advise them that you are running late and if there is a genuine excuse use it, otherwise do not make one up as this could land you in some trouble or even disqualify you as the interviewer may be dubious of the excuse. Always avoid being late, arrive slightly early (15-20 minutes is good enough) as the journey to the interview can be tough enough, so give yourself some time to relax, de-stress, take in the environment and be calm, otherwise you arrive feeling flustered and unpolished and this will affect any good first impressions you might want to leave with your interviewer.
Knowing your Opponent
Like everything else in your job search it is all in the preparation. Being invited to an interview is already a good step forward and obviously your CV created the impression the interviewer wants to see. Before going to any interview, research the company and role that you are going for so you know what you are going to say in the interview or pre-empt any questions the interviewer might ask to make a positive impression and to show them you have done your homework as you have already impressed enough on paper to get your foot in the door. Make sure you take some time out to ask questions, preferably about the company and the role. Remember, in an interview the interviewer is also being interviewed by you but obviously not to the same degree. You need to find out how much they are a fit for you as you are to them, as you want the relationship/job to last.
Dress to Impress
Check your appearance is up to the expected levels for your role. Gentlemen check your hair, straighten your tie and polish your shoes and ladies check your make-up and keep it simple and conservative. When it comes to clothing the most important thing to remember is to put yourself in the interviewer’s chair. What would you think if someone turned up for an interview wearing a belt that didn’t match their shoes or if they had a winter jacket on when its sweltering hot? Therefore dress appropriately for the role and the circumstance. If your CV is strong enough and you perform well enough in the interview, why take the risk and spoil your chances due to some basic personal appearance errors? If in doubt about the dress code, there is no harm in calling the company’s HR department and asking them about the preferred dress code for interviews.
You only get one chance to make that first impression, so make sure that it is the best one that you can give and a lasting one at least, as the interviewer is probably seeing many other people and they can forget who you were post interview and whilst they are creating their short-list. Every time you are at an interview, people will be passing judgements on you, it human nature, so lets create the best impression and a positive lasting judgement.
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