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Interviewing – Knowing the Knows – Part 2 (continued from last month)

So you’ve done all of your preparation. You’re as ready as you can be. Even if you’re able to answer every question asked, there are still ways you can lose out in an interview. Follow these recommendations to ensure you make the biggest impact.

On the Day.

Dress appropriately for the interview. Smarter is almost always better, with only a few exceptions (if you’re interviewing with Google or Facebook for example, who have a relaxed dress code). Even if the company operates a business casual policy, it’s better to wear a suit. Know the industry and the company in particular. It’s very likely that you would wear a more conservative suit for an interview with a law firm, than for example, a PR company. Be aware of the office culture. If you’re currently working in a business casual environment and the interview time does not allow for you to change into something more formal, ensure that the company knows this in advance.

Arrive in good time.

There’s very little to add to this point. Better to arrive 30 minutes early and have a coffee in the area, than to arrive even five minutes late. A personal horror story is a great example. Due to a bad traffic conditions, an ex-work colleague arrived 30 minutes late for an interview. Although otherwise, he was a very strong candidate for the position, his late arrival really threw him off his mark and his interview performance suffered dramatically. He didn’t get the job.

Remember that you are being interviewed from the moment you walk in the building. Be on your “A” game. Greet everybody you meet (the receptionist for example) and thank them as appropriate. The most unusual people may yield a deciding vote on your candidacy. I know of a particular company that has a toilet located immediately behind reception. A candidate had used the toilet prior to his interview. He felt the interview went really well, and provided really good feedback. However, the feedback was not quite as positive from the company. The receptionist knows when the sinks are used in the toilets as she hears the water running. According to her, the candidate did not wash his hands, and incredibly, this reason was given as the one which knocked him out of the running for the job.

Body Language, Voice Tone and Content

Many of you will not be surprised to learn that interviewers make their decisions not on the content of what you say but how you say it and more importantly your body language. Work to present a calm and confident manner. If you’re nervous and anxious, this will be reflected in your posture and will be apparent. The more preparation you do prior to the interview, the less anxious you’ll be.

Relax and Enjoy…and Smile

The interview is also an opportunity for you to see if you like the company, the culture and the people. It’s a two way street. So take some deep breaths before you go into the meeting and really get the very most out of it. Smile at your interviewers. Show them that you are enjoying yourself.

If for whatever reason you do not get the job, then remember you’ve had valuable interview experience. Few people secure their first interview. Don’t worry. In this market, the fact that you secured an interview is an achievement in itself. Try to get any feedback you can from the company or recruitment consultant if you used one. Use that feedback to improve your next interview.

If you want to see more horror stories taken from our experiences at Employment Tiger, go to www.facebook.com/employmenttiger. You’ll see CV mistakes, faux pas from interviews and other problems all of which will help you avoid the same mistakes.

Simon Cairns is a Director at Employment Tiger.

Tel  0203 468 0999 www.employmenttiger.com


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