I love a good movie. One of my favourites is The Devil Wears Prada. I love following the story of Anne Hathaway’s character Andy and her time working for one of the largest fashion magazines. Although she certainly got off to a rocky start. Remember Andy’s interview with Miranda Priestly? It’s fair to say she certainly didn’t make the best first impression. She hadn’t heard of the magazine and didn’t know who Miranda was. Let’s also not sugar-coat the fact she didn’t have impeccable fashion sense. Nevertheless, lucky for her she ended up landing the job and the rest is history.
Whilst Andy’s interview wasn’t the best start, there is a few things you can do to ensure your interview goes smoothly. You’ve sent off your resume and based on your experience and education, you’ve secured an interview. Yay!! The interview is really your time to shine. It’s not every day that you go for a job interview, so you need to take some time and plan for a successful outcome. To avoid making a first impression like Andy, here’s 5 tips to ensure you ace the interview and land yourself that job.
Let’s face the facts! People make a judgement about you within the first 30 seconds of meeting you. First impressions count and this is especially important when you are at a job interview. Whilst it’s unrealistic to think you can control what other people think of you, however you can make sure you are presenting yourself in the best possible way.
Dress to impress! I know there are plenty of workplaces that encourage casual dress, but the interview isn’t the time to show your casual wardrobe. Leave the jeans at home and put on some smart corporate attire. Ensuring you are dressed professionally for the interview sends a positive message about you.
2. Be on time
Being on time is basic courtesy and says a lot about you. It goes without saying but ensure you know where you are going. Take some time to know your route. Will you be travelling via public transport or driving? Traffic can be chaotic and there can be unexpected delays with public transport so it’s best to build in some contingency time to avoid extra stress. Plan to arrive at least 10 minutes early. There are times when sh*t happens and you are delayed due to circumstances beyond your control. Be sure you have a contact number in case you are running late and phone to let the interviewer know you’ve been delayed. Whilst being late for your interview isn’t ideal, your potential new boss will be understanding if you’ve called ahead to let them know.
3. Research the company
With so much online these days, there is really no excuse for not conducting research into the organisation. In most interviews, you will be asked what you know about the organisation. At a minimum you should know what your company does and be able to confidently answer this question. What are their values or mission? Spend some time on the organisations website to learn as much as you can about them as your knowledge will be tested.
With the professional networking site of LinkedIn, it’s also a good idea to review the profiles of your interviewers. It helps you to understand their background and also to know how long they have worked for the organisation.
4. Engage with your interviewers
From the moment you meet your interviewers, make eye contact with each person and address each person by name. Similarly, when you answer a question talk directly to all interviewers, regardless of who is asking you the questions or who is more senior. I’ve interviewed many people in my career and it always amazes me how many people only talk to the person who will be their boss. It’s important to engage with each interviewer as each person who is part of the interview will be asked their opinion about you. I’ve often placed more importance on what my team members or peers think of the candidate, so don’t think that your new boss is the only decision maker. Connect with each person in that interview!
5. Ask questions
Always, always, have a few questions to ask. An interview is a two-way street, so asking questions is important for you to clarify something, understand more about the organisation, the job or environment you will be working in. Try to have at least three questions ready. These could be about the culture of the organisation, your potential boss’s management style or key objectives to focus on in your first three months.
Taking the time to plan and prepare for your interview helps set you up for success. These simple tips will help you put your best foot forward in your next job interview and secure your next role!
Click here to download The Interview Preparation Guide