The effort you make before an interview is as important as the way you act in the interview itself. Preparation takes a variety of forms:
- Firstly, contextualise the interview – is the job for you? Do you actually want this job, or do you just want to leave your current job?
- Find out as much about the company, the market they operate in, and their competitors – read company reports, google news, and the company’s own website
- Interrogate the job spec, so you can ask valid and worthwhile questions about the role
- Ensure you are familiar with your c.v. (you would be surprised how many people are not)
- Run through likely questions in order to consider them and formulate your response (see checklist)
- Confirm where you need to be, and at what time, and plan your route
On the day itself, common sense rules supreme:
- Allow yourself sufficient time to arrive in the area early, and turn up at the office five minutes before the scheduled start time – this way you will be more relaxed and composed than if you have been battling through traffic to arrive on time.
- Similarly, wear clothes that you feel relaxed wearing. If you are wearing something new for the interview, be sure to wear it once or twice beforehand so you feel at home.
- Dress smartly – it is better to be overdressed than underdressed. Even if you are interviewing at the ‘coolest’ advertising agency, still dress smartly. Whatever you wear, make sure it is immaculate – no stains, missing buttons etc. Ask your consultant for advice on what you should wear if you are unsure.
- Research shows that for both men and women, darker clothes present a more professional impression.