Congratulations on securing a job interview!
This is a crucial step in your career journey, and with proper preparation, you can boost your chances of landing the job you’re interviewing for. Interviews are likely to be nerve-wracking regardless of experience, but the key to reducing nerves is to be as well prepared as possible.
In this guide, we will outline our recommended steps to ensure you put your best foot forward during the interview process.
Do your research.
Before the interview, make sure you thoroughly research the company you’re interviewing with. Visit their website, read about their services, explore their mission and values, and learn about their recent achievements. Familiarising yourself with the company will not only impress the interviewer but also help you tailor your responses to their questions. If you want to go above and beyond, we’d recommend researching your interviewer too; it’s pretty commonplace to have done your homework on the company itself, but by having an idea of the interviewer’s background and position, you’re giving yourself a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd and build rapport.
Equally, make sure you spend some time reviewing the job description you’re interviewing for in detail to understand the role’s responsibilities and requirements. Identify the key skills and qualifications the employer is seeking and think about how your experiences and strengths match up to those criteria. This will allow you to truly showcase your suitability for the position during the interview.
Practice common interview questions and prepare some of your own.
Prepare for the interview by practicing common interview questions. Anticipate questions related to your work experience, strengths, weaknesses, challenges you’ve overcome, and your future career goals. Crafting concise and relevant responses will demonstrate your professionalism and communication skills. Equally, it may help to practice answering questions using the STAR interview technique (read our full guide for this here).
It’s important to remember that an interview is a two-way street, so be sure to prepare some thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer about the company culture, team dynamics, or any other specific aspects of the role that you’re curious about. Asking questions shows your interest in the position and helps you assess if the company is the right fit for you.
Make a good first impression.
You only get one chance to make a good first impression, so you want to make sure you’re standing out in all the right ways rather than the wrong ones. Always ensure you plan your route to the interview thoroughly and allow extra time for delayed public transport, traffic, or other possible obstacles to your arriving on time. Arriving early will also give you time to relax and compose yourself before the interview.
Make sure you dress for the interview in a professional manner, choosing attire that aligns with the company’s dress code and industry norms where possible but, when in doubt, it’s better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed.
Prepare your documents.
Organise all of your necessary documents into a folder that you can take along with you to your interview, such as copies of your CV, cover letter, portfolio, or any relevant certifications. Review the information you provided on your CV ahead of the interview and ensure that you’re ready to answer any questions about the details you’ve provided.
Follow good interview etiquette and be conscious of body language.
While there may not be any hard and fast rules on what not to say or do during an interview, basic etiquette will go a long way, and politeness and courtesy are crucial during the interview process. Greet your interviewer with a warm smile and thank them for the opportunity, be attentive and avoid interrupting when they are speaking, and try to build a positive rapport. Ideally, you will already know the name of the person you are interviewing with; if so, greet them by name.
Non-verbal cues play a significant role in interviews. Practice maintaining good eye contact, offering a firm handshake, smiling, and sitting up straight. Avoid fidgeting or crossing your arms, as these actions can convey nervousness or disinterest. Also, avoid asking about topics such as benefits, holiday, bonuses, or salary at the first-interview stage; these are all questions we can ask on your behalf, and asking them at this stage may mean you run the risk of appearing disinterested in the role itself. Equally, try not to ramble or go on tangents or give ‘yes’ or ‘no’ replies: this is your opportunity to sell yourself and your skills, so take a deep breath to settle your nerves if you feel yourself getting carried away.
End on a high
If you are interested in the role, make sure you end the interview by expressing your interest, as well as thanking them for taking the time to meet with you. You can also ask when you are likely to find out whether you will be invited for a second interview, as this expresses genuine enthusiasm for the position. Occasionally, a client may offer you the position at the first interview stage, but don’t feel obligated to accept then and there unless you are certain; you can wait to give an answer and speak with us first.
Once you are finished with your interview, be sure to get in contact with your Heat Consultant as soon as possible to give your thoughts and feedback and debrief on how it all went.