How to impress at your next job interview II

Last week we discussed the preparation you need to put in BEFORE you attend your job interview (see post here). So once you have done your research, prepared your questions and practiced your interview techniques with a trusted someone, what next?!
What to do on the day of the interview
You can't avoid some 'nerves' before an interview, but you can be prepared and ensure that you are not placing any extra stress on yourself! The day of the interview will go more smoothly if you have a plan and you are organised!
You don't get a second chance to make a first impression - as a matter of fact most experts in this field say that people have made up their mind about you in as little as 7 seconds of seeing and meeting you. You can use this to your advantage, by using the following tip:
  1. Look the part: ensure that you have picked appropriate clothes for your interview? Of course it is ok to be an individual, BUT if you want to improve your chances of securing the job, you are best to stay within the cultural 'norms'. Are your shoes polished or in good condition? Is your hair neat, have you shaved? and ladies - my personal suggestion: ensure your makeup is not too heavy!
  2. Feel the part: practice your handshake! Never underestimate what a firm (not overpowering) and confident handshake represents. Also, practice what your first line will be (eg: Hello *name* thank you for the opportunity to speak with you!). Know the questions you have prepared from last weeks post. Be prepared to elaborate in your answers - yes/no's are not winners in an interview, be ready to give precise examples of how you have achieved certain tasks etc.
  3. Have your CV: I know that you have already sent your CV when you applied, BUT it is always good practice to take a copy with you. You can bet that there will be plenty of CV's floating around the office from other applicants - so you having an extra copy might very well be appreciated, PLUS I always think it shows forethought and organisation! Make sure you have it well presented; I recommend a new clean display folder is best. Depending on the job you are applying for, you may also want to take examples of your work, again ensure they are well presented, clean neat and in a nice display folder.
  4. Have your travel route planned: know how you are going to get there (if you are taking public transport which stop do you get off at? how long will it take to walk?). Ensure that you give yourself enough time so that you don't arrived puffed and sweaty. You want to arrive a little early - now bear in mind that 30mins early is usually just as frowned upon as being late. I am a perpetually late person, so I actually arrive 30mins early and sit at a nearby quiet place to gather my thoughts. Arriving 10mins before your interview time is generally a good idea - this gives you time to meet and greet the receptionist and find out where you need to go etc.
  5. be polite and friendly to everyone you meet! You just never know who has influence in the decision to hire you! The best example I can give you is back at a time when I was the leading sales rep for a large national firm; I was filling in for the receptionist as she had to unexpectedly leave her desk and a new potential supplier arrived. He was very rude to me and of course I told the owner, who invited me into the interview after a period of time and explained to the hopeful supplier that if he couldn't impress the leading sales rep he had no hope of dealing with the rest of the company. So make sure you treat EVERYONE with the respect and friendliness you will give to the interviewer!
  6. and lastly Know who is interviewing you! I make a point of finding out name and position title and even a little about them if I can! And as mentioned last week, do your research about the company you are applying to work with - it will go in your favour if you understand just who they are, what they do and what their philosophies are!
Have you got any interview tips and techniques you can share with us? Drop us a comment below - we'd love to hear from you!! And remember to look out for our next post "What to do at the interview"

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