Attending interviews can be a worrying and stressful part of the job-seeking process however, trust me, if you don't perform well at interviews you will rarely get the job. With that stark fact in mind it's worthwhile honing your skills to make sure you perform to the best of your ability and our tips here will hopefully help. It's a common theme of our 10 Days of Advice, but preparation has to be the key. It's no longer enough just to rely on your recruitment agency, no matter how great we are, to spoon feed you all the information you need. All this will give you is the same as the other candidates on the short-list. And we're presuming here that you want to stand out so putting extra effort in here is essential. Ingrain yourself in the company. Know who does what from the Chairman and Managing Director, down to the Marketing Assistant. Most of this information is available on LinkedIn so make sure your on-line profiles are up to date and that your are an expert in using all the resources available!
Now make sure you know exactly what the company does. Sound like an obvious question? You're right, it is. But you'd be amazed how many candidates have little or no real understanding of the business they are applying for. Do all the usual research on-line but then dig a bit deeper. Most companies have websites, LinkedIn pages, Facebook Pages, Twitter Accounts - make sure you are all over these really getting to grips with the culture. Call them up and ask for company brochures, Annual Reports, have a little chat with the receptionist, explain you're coming for an interview and you really want to gather as much information as you can - they may be able to help. On the day before the interview take the journey to the company as you would do on interview day. There is little worse than turning up to an interview late. It puts you under immediate pressure and can often start the meeting off on the wrong foot from the interviewers perspective. Follow the same journey, whether by car, train, bus so that you know if there are going to be any issues on the way. On the day leave yourself plenty of time. Have your wardrobe planned the day before, usually business smart unless you've been advised otherwise. This means for men: suits, shirts and ties and polished shoes (no white socks!). And for ladies: suit, smart dress and sensible heels (no over-zealous Wonderbra's)!! Keep an eye out for our upcoming blog post on mens and ladies fashion for business attire coming out next week.
Don't be put off writing down some questions or notes to refer to in the meeting. These can be used as a prompt at that tricky time when you've just endured an hour of interrogation and your head's in a spin. It will help remind you of the killer questions you had researched and worked on prior to the interview and will make sure you don't forget them. With regards to questions, you must think of questions that demonstrate your interest in a career with the company not just what you can get out of them. Questions relating to holidays, sick-pay, death-in-service benefit don't really give off the right impression (I'm stretching the examples to make a point...). For more information on preparing for an interview and attending them take a look at our short video that'll get you all revved up for your next appointment. http://youtu.be/elt_cy6kay8 Good luck!