With all types of interviews, whether they be a 1-2-1, panel or assessment centre, there are some fundamental do’s and dont’s.
Before you attend an interview, check the list below each and every time. Even if you have attended a few interviews already, don’t get complacent that you are all organised. It’s easy to forget something, especially if nerves are kicking in. We’ve created a downloadable version of this checklist just for you – it’s located at the bottom of the page.
When you get the call
Don’t leave it until the last moment to get organised!
- Ensure that you have all the interview details recorded somewhere safe
- Complete some research on the company straight away
- Take your outfit to the dry cleaners and wash and iron your shirt/top
- Put your CV and notes in a safe place – with the interview details is a good idea
- Write down 6 questions you have for the interviewer. Break them down into what you want to know about:
- the company,
- the role,
- the people you will be working with,
- future prospects of the company
The day before the interview
- Check that all your paperwork is in order
- Check that your outfit is picked up from the dry cleaners and is sitting with your shirt/top ready to wear
- Plan your time of departure from home. Give plenty of time for traffic, buses/trains being late and the car park being full. Leave time to get to the alternative car park
- Plan your route to the interview
- organise transport – are you driving, getting a lift, taking the bus, walking?
- is there a charge for a toll/parking
- where is the car park – look for at least 2 you can use
- how to get from the car park to the interview building
- what time do the buses/train run
The day of the interview
- Allow enough time to get ready and to leave on time
- Make sure that you pick up your paperwork to take with you (interview details, CV, notes and questions)
- Don’t get rushed as this will add to any nerves you may be feeling
- Don’t arrive earlier than 10 minutes before your interview time OR later than 5 minutes before your interview is due to start
Once you’ve arrived
- Take a few deep breaths before entering as this helps to calm your nerves
- Introduce yourself to the receptionist with a smile. Tell them your name, that you are there for an interview with <name> at <time>
- Shake your interviewer’s hand when they introduce themselves to you and smile
- Allow the interviewer to the take the lead with the interview
- Make sure that you listen and answer once the interviewer has stopped talking. Do not talk over them or interrupt
- Speak clearly and confidently and always look at your interviewer
- Make sure that you ask your questions when asked to do so
- Don’t slouch, chew gum, look at the floor
- Don’t use slang or bad language in an interview
- Don’t ignore a question if you don’t understand it. Let the interviewer know that you are not sure what they are asking and ask if they can elaborate. It’s not a crime to ask to have a question repeated as you need to make sure you are giving the right answer
- Make sure you are enthusiastic about the company and the role. This lets the interviewer know that you are very keen on the position
- Be polite, friendly, smile, speak confidently and at the same pace as the interviewer. Be concise with your answers. this is your one and only chance to impress the interviewer and win your dream job!
- Ask what the next step in the process is so you know what you can expect and when
After the interview
If you have not heard from the interviewer by the time they advised, contact the interviewer and ask if any decisions have been made. This reinforces your interest in the job.
If you got the job, well done!
Accept the role if you want it, making sure you write down your start date and time and who you are to report to on your first day. Now you can go and celebrate – congratulations!
If you didn’t get the job this time
Don’t worry, use this interview as an experience for next time. Ask the interviewer for any feedback they can give you so you can make sure that your next interview results in a job offer.
Keep job searching, the right role for you may just be the next application you put in!
To help you out, we’ve created a free printable checklist to start completing as soon as you get a phone call. Click the link below to download it.
These are basic guidelines – if you would like more in-depth support and guidance with interview techniques and skills we offer an Interview Techniques Consultation. This is a 2-3 hour programme which includes a mock interview role play with feedback and covers all aspects of the interview including competency-based questioning.