Got that interview? Great! But what’s the next step?
Not sure what to expect at an interview and feeling nervous about it? Many people have a fear of interviews; here are some tips to help you make the most of this opportunity.
Do your preparation
An interview is a chance for you and the employer to get to know one another. It is NOT the time to get to know about the post or the employers business so make sure you know what the job entails. Make sure you are well prepared and confident. Do your research and find out about the company you are going to interview for and have a good idea of the job you applied for.
Most questions fall into three basic categories: Can you do the job (competencies, skills and experiences), will you do the job (personality and working styles) and will you fit in? Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action and Result) to answer the questions that require you to evidence your skills and competencies. Our blog post ‘articulating your employability’ will help with this.
Many organisations base their interviews on the items in the job description and person specification. Therefore before going for an interview, make sure you have read through the job description and person specification to ensure you are familiar with them and able to relate each point to yourself.
At the Interview
The employer is interested in you as a person, your experiences and your opinions. It is important to take the time to sit down and think about your skills, achievements, and how you can best evidence them. There is always the opportunity to ask them questions at the end of the interview – remember the interview is a two way process, you need to be sure you want to join them too!
The interview can be a stressful time, so follow these tips to help you on your way:
- Be sure you know the time, date and location of the interview.
- Check out how you will get to the location, and when you need to set off to be there in good time – do a dummy run if necessary.
- Have what you are going to wear ready in advance. Wear what is appropriate for the post and the company; if in doubt, it is better to err on the side of formal than casual.
- Do not go to the interview laden down with baggage – psychological as well as physical. Take the bare minimum of belongings necessary, ensure you get a good night’s sleep beforehand and that you have your journey thoroughly planned to avoid rushing and feeling too stressed on the day.
- If you are asked to bring certificates, references etc, get them ready before the day.
- Book a mock interview in the Careers Centre – simply come to drop-in and we can make an appointment for you.
- Check out the interviews section of our website for some more useful hints and tips.
- If you’ve got a telephone interview, check out our recent post on this for more specific advice.
Remember… Getting an interview is an achievement in itself. Only a small proportion of applicants are selected for interview so you have already made a positive impression to have got to this stage and good luck!