The 3 things you need to take to an interview (and 1 to leave behind)
Job interviews are a tough business – if figures compiled by Glassdoor are anything to go by, you can be competing for a job with up to 250 other hopefuls.
If you’ve got the interview, then you’ve got the edge. Follow our job interview tips for remaining sharp.
Forward planning skills
If you’re facing a panel or tag-team of interviewers, make sure you’ve got them covered with additional paper copies of your CV (who knows – their printers might fail).
Also – we can’t stress this enough – if you can’t do a quick reconnaissance trip, or your knowledge of the interview site is hazy, plan your journey ahead of time. Set aside time for transport delays or traffic jams, look up any alternative routes and have a map to hand. If it can go wrong, it usually does. And have the number for your main contact to keep them informed.
Also, be sure you’ve done all your research on the company, including all its latest projects, so you’re in the loop.
Taking notes during an interview not only looks professional and subtly expresses a keen interest for the job, but also is useful to jot down contact details and intricate dynamics or functions of the role.
You’ll likely be making them on the back of your research/interview notes in case you need to rehearse them on the way to your interview! It always helps to go over all the possible scenario questions you may face from the interviewer(s).
Your impeccable sense of etiquette and style
This may sound obvious, but keeping track of the time is essential as lateness is never appealing to an interviewer. Even though many people like to use their mobile nowadays, we’re fans of the old-fashioned approach. Whipping out a bulky phone from a handbag or pocket will never look as good as a subtle glance at a stylish watch – and if you’re interviewing at a particular big brand name, be sure to keep your accessories on-brand wherever possible.
Also, don’t forget to smile. It goes a long way in an interview, largely as it conveys a relaxed confidence and likeability to the interviewer.
Lies and ‘bad vibes’
It never pays to lie or exaggerate details about your work history, achievements or even employer references. It will only get found out and won’t go down all that well with your interviewers who may dismiss you altogether.
And while a good attitude can go a long way, a bad attitude is equally noticeable a mile off and can deter the interviewer or other colleagues from getting to know you – or offering you a seat at the table.