By Anwen Williams
Do your research
In an interview you’re aiming to “sell” yourself to an employer – your abilities, your skills, your knowledge and your personality. The best way you can do this is through learning as much as you can about the employer’s organisation and the employer’s needs. It’s important to remember that the interview is not just for the employer to decide if they want to hire you, it’s also for you to decide whether you want to work for this organisation. Firstly, to find out what the employer needs, you can revisit the job information available. In the job description you should be able to tell what the job entails, what skills, qualities and knowledge are required and what levels of commitment and initiative are required. Finding out about the employer is also an important way to figure this out. Find out what the company’s aims, size, turnover and their position in the industry. This will give you a better idea of what they’re looking for. The organisation will have all of the information about latest developments, news, aims and ethos accessible to the public. If you’re having trouble knowing where to start looking, start with their website. Another place you’ll find heaps of information is on business and social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Once you know what they’re looking for, try to think of the questions they might ask you. Having examples of times that you’ve ‘solved a problem’ or ‘worked as a part of a team’ will take a huge weight off your shoulders. Having an example ready for things they may be looking for (or things mentioned in the job description) will have you ready for the questions they’re going to ask, and will make you way more relaxed. It’s also a really great idea to make a list of all your strengths, and everything you’ve achieved. Not only will this make you recognise all the skills you have, if you give the list a read before the interview, you’ll feel that much more confident and capable.
Another way you need to be prepared is to know exactly where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Plan this out in advance so the only thing you have to do on the morning of your interview is get yourself there. You don’t want to come across any unexpected problems and end up being late. Before an interview I always tend to google maps the location, so I know exactly where I’m going and how long it will take me. It makes a world of difference knowing where you’re going the morning of the interview, as you’re not worrying yourself sick about going the wrong way or running out of time.
Get your glad rags on
Last but definitely not least is appearance. Apparently, initial impact is made within the first few seconds of an interview, and in terms of effective communication during the first few minutes – with clothes, gestures and posture holding 55% importance, tone of voice with 38% and message content 7%. This does not mean message content is not important, it just shows how important your appearance is on a first impression. It’s said that the four most important areas to pay attention to are eye contact, facial expression, posture and gestures. Try to look as clean clean as possible, relax and be confident. Good Luck.