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An interview is your opportunity to make a favorable impression and show the interviewer why you are the best candidate for the role. Our experts have compiled some crucial interview tips to help you put your best foot forward and avoid common interview mistakes.
Research the Company
First and foremost, make sure you research the company and position you are applying for to ensure the opportunity is right for you. Your knowledge of a company should consist of more than the `About Us’ page on the company website—do your due diligence to show that you are truly interested in the opportunity.
Appearance & Presentation
Regardless of your industry, the old adage `dress to impress’ always applies. Employers will rarely denounce you for overdressing. If you are worried about being overdressed, don’t hesitate to call beforehand and ask about the most appropriate attire for the interview. Additionally, it is important not to wear anything that will distract the interviewer (such as too much perfume). If you plan on wearing a coat or scarf, remember to take those items off for the interview to show that you are confident and comfortable, and that you believe the interview is more than just a quick conversation.
Punctuality & Timing
You should always be on time for an interview. Plan your route ahead of time to arrive 10 minutes early (any earlier and you may interrupt the interviewers schedule). Remember to take rush-hour traffic into account. Though you should never be late for an interview, if there is an extenuating circumstance, make sure you always have your cell-phone on you and have the appropriate phone numbers readily available—in which case you should phone the interviewer immediately. Lastly, make sure you have adequate time for the interview—you should never be watching the clock.
What To Bring
Bring all necessary documents to an interview, these include: an updated resume, list of references, any recommendation letters, a portfolio of any work samples that may be beneficial, a pen, and most importantly, a confident and positive demeanor.
What NOT To Bring
Leave the coffee, gum and any negative thoughts outside of the interview room.
The interview is your time to shine and it begins as soon as you walk onto the premises so act accordingly. Show up on time, dressed appropriately and be enthusiastic and pleasant to everyone you encounter. Offer your interviewer a practiced handshake and a smile. Again, take off your coat or scarf if you are wearing one and be polite.
Things to Remember
There are lots of things to remember during an interview but some of the most important (according to our Industry Specialized Recruitment Professionals) are as follows:
- Candidates who appear interested in the prospective company have an advantage.
- Don’t talk about compensation until the Employer does—build your value first and your equity will rise
- If you notice your interviewer taking notes, moderate your speaking speed or pause occasionally to accommodate.
- Be conscious of your body language to show that you are friendly and personable.
- Don’t assume your interviewer completely understands your previous roles—the more detail about your experience, the better.
- Never speak badly about former colleagues or companies.
- Avoid using too many colloquialisms in an interview—professional language is always preferred.
- Don’t be afraid to pause briefly to formulate an answer that best addresses your interviewer’s question.
- Be transparent—as long as you are honest, flaws can be understood. Misunderstandings happen when trying to hide negative points.
- Always listen intently during an interview and don’t be afraid to ask your interviewer to repeat a question.
- Asking open ended questions allows you to learn more, for example ‘Could you please tell me about the corporate culture?”
- Don’t take your work experience for granted and explain you work, duties, and position as fully as possible so Employers can relate your experience to their Company.
- Make a list of what is important to you in your career. Be honest about what your career preferences are so you can find a position that best suits your preferences.
Before you leave the interview, make sure you have the email address of the interviewer and follow-up with a brief email when you get home thanking the interviewer for their time while reinstating your interest in the position. Never assume you have the job until everything is finalized. Continually questioning your interview process will allow you to keep improving. Lastly, make sure you stay available and contactable throughout the recruitment process.
Our Specialized Recruiters have put together some resume templates for you! You can download the MS Word version and the PDF example by clicking on the links below. Need more help or inspiration? Contact one of our recruiters in your industry by messaging them here.