Some might think these are obvious, some might think unnecessary, we say we’ve been placing candidates in employment for over 20 years and you wouldn’t believe how often we have to ensure these snippets of advice have to be given to candidates, but we promise they will help you get that job!
1. Wear a suit!
Most office environments have a corporate dress code. That means a smart suit and a shirt or blouse. Not a pair of trainers in sight please! Whether we like it or not first impressions have a huge effect on a person’s opinion, this doesn’t mean you need to look like a model to get the job, it means a professional appearance will get you further than an untidy or unsuitable appearance. An employer is more likely to take you seriously if your shirt is ironed, your hair is neat and you look presentable than if you have toothpaste down the really expensive tracksuit bottoms you bought last weekend.
2. Be no earlier than 10 minutes and certainly no later!
It’s common knowledge that being late for an interview is an instant no-no. If you’re unsure of the Company’s location – leave earlier, if you think there might be traffic – leave earlier. Whatever the excuse, the answer will always be ‘leave earlier’ or do a trial run! Additionally, if you happen to arrive to your interview an hour early, it is not acceptable to simply expect a potential employer to be able to see you on the spot. Get a coffee, wait in your car but do not go in to your appointment more than 10 minutes early.
3. Greet your interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake!
There is nothing unprofessional about a bright smile and a happy nature; in fact I think we’ll all agree we need more smiles in this world, particularly in the work place. You’re attending this interview in the hope of obtaining employment, show that you are pleased to meet the interviewer, shake their hand confidently and politely thank them for seeing you. It’s ok to be nervous, it’s expected, but show that you are determined to succeed and be positive.
4. Consider your strengths and weaknesses
An interviewer will often ask what you consider your strengths and weaknesses to be, this can often make people panic – you don’t want to sound arrogant but you don’t want to sound useless either! The best approach to take is to be constructive, consider three strengths and one weakness…
Your strengths should be work appropriate and should carry examples, the ability to use a unicycle is certainly impressive but will hardly enrich an office department try something like: ‘I work well in a team, I recently worked in a group of 5 to produce the latest marketing campaign at my current job.’
Your one weakness should be something that you are able to amend, whether it be your lack of experience of MS Excel software because you haven’t had to use it yet, or your lack of face to face contact dealing with clients, these are relevant skills that you need but can be dealt with without much training.
5. Prepare some appropriate questions to ask
An interviewer will always ask if you have any questions at the end of your appointment and while it may seem like you have been told everything there is to know, what would make you particularly memorable as a candidate would be to show you have done your research. If the Company has recently made improvements to the offices, ask if they plan to continue, enquire about how your role might be involved with any new projects you have read about. Questions about salary, company benefits or whether you can use the Wi-Fi to Face-Time your mum quickly is definitely, definitely not recommended.
Interviews are nerve-wracking, stressful, terrifying times whether you are a first time job-seeker or a well-seasoned frequenter of a Manager’s office – it doesn’t matter how nervous you are, follow these steps and you’ll be unloading your photo frames on an office desk in no time!