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Congratulations, you’ve submitted your application and you’ve been invited to interview for the position! But how do you ensure the next step of the application process goes just as smoothly?
Six simple steps to interview success
- Research is everything - research the job, the company (the products/services they provide, the company structure and the market they operate in) and the people who will be interviewing you
- Application reminder - go over your CV/application and the job description – prepare examples of how your experience matches the skills required
- Getting there – plan your travel arrangements including where to park if you’re driving
- What to wear – dress smart unless you’re told otherwise. Decide what you’re going to wear in advance so that you don’t have to worry about it on the day.
- What to take with you – pack your bag/briefcase the night before with a pen, notepad, a copy of your CV, information about the company and anything else you have been asked to bring.
- On the day – greet the interviewer(s) with a smile and a handshake. During your interview, try and mimic their style – for example, if they are formal, be formal, if they are informal, be informal. Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer. After the interview, thank the interviewer(s) for their time.
Preparing for alternative interviews
The advice above is mostly focused on a traditional face-to-face interview format whereby you are invited to the prospective place of work and are asked questions by one or two interviewers. However, you may need to consider some slightly different advice for alternative interview methods.
Phone interviews are often used as an initial screening method ahead of the face-to-face interview stage. Preparation is just as key at this early part of the application process. You should take the call in a calm and quiet setting where you won’t be distracted. It may be tempting to multi-task but you’re bound to provide the most relevant responses and come across as more professional if you’re solely focused on the call. The good thing about this visually-aversive interview method is that you can have your CV to hand and can make notes on any questions you may have as the interview progresses.
Before your video interview, not only do you need to prepare yourself (mentally and physically – it’s important to still dress to impress) but you also need to prepare your chosen interview environment. You will need a quiet, uncluttered space where you will not be distracted. Spend some time before the interview practicing using the video software. Check that your device is set at the right height for where you will be sat. During the interview, imitate direct eye contact by looking into the camera rather than at the screen. Also, try and limit your movement as your connection speed may not be able to keep up with your charismatic gestures.
An assessment centre is usually the final or penultimate stage used in the recruitment process and often involves the simultaneous assessment of a pool of candidates. Find out more on what to expect and how to prepare on our assessment centre advice page.