You’ve done some of the hard work- you’ve perfected your CV, sent off applications and now you’ve received the letter or phone call inviting you to that all important interview. Well done!
You’re probably aware that there are plenty of things you should do before an interview, whether you’re applying for executive jobs, part-time work or student jobs while at uni or college but similarly there are things not to do, so check out these 10 useful points and keep them in mind.
- Don’t stay up late the night before your interview.
It’s not rocket science but now’s not the time to stay out late partying or watching a box set of your favourite TV programme into the early hours. A good sleep the night before should help you show up looking bright eyed and bushy tailed. You won’t look great after a few hours sleep and you won’t be doing yourself any favours in the interview. Don’t waste all the effort you’ve put in so far.
- Don’t arrange anything just before an interview.
Don’t schedule errands or appointments prior to your interview. Meeting up with a friend for a coffee can wait until after the interview. Rushing around will increase your stress and you could face unexpected delays with your transport arrangements. The last thing you need is to arrive in a fluster, hot, sweaty and out of breath. So devote your time to thinking only of your interview by clearing your schedule beforehand.
- Getting there – don’t leave it to chance.
Don’t think you know the way to your interview by heart. Check that you really do know where you’re going. Plan your route ahead of time so you arrive at your destination with plenty of time to spare. If travelling by car update your sat nav with the right info and where the nearest car parks are and check out any planned roadworks in case you need to make a detour. If travelling by public transport do your homework and check the bus or train timetables. Keep a note on your phone or in your briefcase of the contact details of the interviewer or company so that in the scenario of you running late you are able to let the company know.
4. Don’t arrive at the interview too early.
Arrival 10-15 minutes before the interview is acceptable. Anything more than that can be annoying and you don’t want to be hanging around the lobby. So if you arrive early, congratulate yourself that you’ve made it so far without any mishaps. Sit in the car and listen to music, perhaps go for a short walk for some fresh air and then enter the building 10-15 minutes before the interview. Anything less and you’re not giving yourself enough time to relax and focus or make those last minute checks on your appearance and notes.
5. Don’t be rude.
Be polite and courteous to everyone you meet in and around the interview, whether receptionist, support staff, security guard or interviewer. If you get the job these people will be your colleagues. You may have had a great interview but if the receptionist reports back to HR that you were rude and condescending when addressing them you might not get the job. So greet people in a friendly manner with a smile.
6. Don’t ruin that first impression.
First impressions are crucial, so don’t show up looking dishevelled. You may have looked great when you left the house 2 hours ago but after that journey squashed on the train or a windswept walk, your appearance has changed a bit. Take the time to go to the cloakroom and freshen up. Check make-up, hair, teeth. Check your tie and suit, switch into your dress shoes. Looking good will do wonders for your confidence.
- Go easy on personal fragrances.
It’s important to show you’ve made an effort to look the part, whether you’re applying for managerial positions, supplementary part-time work or student jobs. Give them all the same level of thought and attention. While it’s great to look clean and presentable at your interview don’t get carried away with the fragrances and end up overpowering your interviewer. Perfumes, colognes, breath mints, scented hand lotions, shampoo and hairspray can overwhelm the space and you might be memorable for the wrong reasons
8. Avoid certain foods
Again on the subject of smells, avoid smelly foods such as onions, garlic and coffee, cigarettes or anything that can end up stuck in your teeth. Drink some water and have a breath mint so that your breath will be fresh and clean.
9. Don’t let the stress and pressure get to you.
Everyone knows that interviews can be nerve racking and if it’s your dream job and you really want it then that causes a lot of extra stress and pressure. Try to calm yourself by sitting quietly, taking some deep breaths and focusing. Don’t let the fact you want the job so much come out as stress, pressure or desperation but instead as passion for the job or for wanting to work for that company.
10. Don’t check your phone or social media accounts.
Don’t check your phone apart from to make sure it’s turned off and isn’t going to be pinging throughout the interview. How embarrassing would that be for you and how annoying for the interviewer. Don’t look at social media for the next bit of gossip or take a selfie in the waiting room (cringe!). Instead use the time wisely to get into the right frame of mind.
That’s what not to do, so make sure you do all the right things. Feel positive and confident that you’ve done everything you can as you go into your next job interview. This could be your dream job.