Want to do an interview you can be proud of? Here’s how…
Your interviewer will know something about you on paper. But this is most likely the first time they’ve seen you face to face. Making a good first impression begins long before the interview with your personal prep! You’ll want to both dress appropriately, which most often means professionally. And you’ll want to be comfortable too. So there’s no harm in trying a few outfits and making sure you’re happy with how everything looks. That’s where confidence starts.
Plus, don’t reserve your best behaviour just for the interviewer. After all, you may be coming to work here, so everyone you meet should get a warm smile and respect. Plus, they may be asked their impression of you too! We are one team after all.
Be On Time
Not too early or not too late is the ideal, but what does that mean? Aim to arrive 10-15 minutes early. This gives you enough time to find your way around and get comfortable - essential especially if you’ve had a stressful journey. Any earlier and the interviewer may feel under pressure to not keep you waiting, which won’t put you in their good books. And while arriving late is never good form, it isn’t always a dealbreaker. Most people understand the unpredictable nature of traffic and public transport, so call ahead and make sure you have a good excuse.
Take a Deep Breath
To start as you mean to go on, enter the room calmly and confidently, accepting introductions politely, making eye contact and shaking hands firmly. This fairly informal part of the process sets the scene and gets you into comfortable groove: a still place from which to assess and answer those all important questions. Remembering to breathe throughout is also a good idea and sometimes easier said than done. Don’t try to rush an answer or feel compelled to fill a quiet moment by saying anything at all. The interviewer will know you’re collecting your thoughts and will appreciate this.
Practice Makes Perfect: Answer the Question
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail! It can be hard to know exactly what to expect at interview but there are also often very standard questions that we should all know the answers to. ‘Why do you want this job?’ is often the first, quickly followed by ‘Tell us a bit about yourself’. Other common interview questions include ‘What do you know about our company?’, ‘What qualifies you for this job?’, and the classic, ‘What are your strengths and weaknesses?’. These questions may be phrased differently but all are designed to find out about you, what you know and your ambitions, and how these align with the company and culture.
Preparing your answers to these general questions may also help you to answer any curveballs which is always a good thing!
Practice Makes Perfect: Ask the Question
Just as important as having good answers to questions is having good questions! Employers need to know you’re interested and that you’ve done your homework. You may think that doing your homework should mean that you don’t have any questions but this is never true: there is always more to know. What it does mean is that you shouldn’t ask any obvious questions that can be answered by a quick internet search or is simply something everyone knows about the company. Ask good questions that relate to the department, the team, how people like to work, what success looks like, if there’s training and development or a supported career path. It’s never a great idea to ask about salary or how soon you can get time off – unless you have a really good reason. Focus on questions about the role.
Plus, most interviewers will relish the opportunity to answer any questions you have so this is an opportunity to stand out – don’t let it pass by!
Here at MAN, we’ve all been in your situation so we know how nerve-wracking it can be. It’s simply our job to find more good people who share our pride in the job and want to do a great job for our customers. So more often than not we’ll be looking for people who will work well as part of the team and are eager to learn. We’re not so scary when you get to know us – just impress us and you’ll be halfway there!
Check out our current job opportunities here – we’d be proud to have you join us on the journey.
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