Do your homework
Find out as much as possible about the company prior to the interview. A good starting point is to look up their website and find out about the products and services they offer, the location of the office(s) and the number of employees.
Dress code and appearance:
Find out what the client’s dress code is. For office work, smart business dress is a must.
Ensure you are well groomed with tidy hair, clean shoes and clothing. Do not wear too much perfume or aftershave and keep make-up, jewellery and nail polish simple.
Travel and timing:
Plan your journey beforehand to ensure you arrive a few minutes early. Allow for possible travel delays. Just in case of a major hold up, make sure you have your contact’s telephone number so that you can call if you suspect you will be late.
What to expect:
Interviews come in many forms – panel interviews, one to one interview, group interviews etc. Ask your consultancy what form of interview it will be beforehand. You may be asked to take a test before the interview, depending on the type of organisation. These might consist of psychometric or aptitude tests.
There are many different interview styles and each interviewer will have their own style. Some interviewers will fire questions at you while others will start off with an open question such as “tell me about yourself” leaving you to do most of the talking. The majority of interviews will be somewhere between the two. Be prepared for any style of interview.
Make sure the employer knows the benefits of employing you. Sell yourself by providing your relevant skills and experience that you will contribute to the organisation.
Try not to monopolise the meeting – let your interviewer talk.
Find out what the key parts of the candidate specification are, so you can show how you meet them.
Ask how the job contributes to the success of the organisation.
Show that you have done some research.
Don’t give negative information or bad news if you are not asked for it and don’t criticise previous employers or jobs. The key is to turn negative information into positive information.
At the end of the interview ask if the interviewer has any reservations, this is a great opportunity to assess how the interviewer feels about you and the interview in general.
What kind of person are you?
Handle questions about personality carefully.
Rather than say “I’m an idea’s person”, talk about a time when you changed things with a good idea.
Why did you leave?
Employers will probe for reasons for job change.
If you are currently out of work, they will probe this, too.
Rehearse short, simple, positive “stories” to cover these points. This is not telling lies, just a simple, positive summary.