We sometimes forget the basics when going to interview. I will be over the next few weeks releasing articles and videos on simple immediate changes and actions you can take to improve your chances of a successful interview.
The below tips are in order to help your comfort levels and to stop potential blunders in terms of first impressions.
Get There Early
We talk about making powerful first impressions, well an employer looking at their watch, waiting for you is a terrible one. Be familiar with the route to their office and leave with plenty of time in advance. Give yourself extra time to get there with comfort. Allow for heavy traffic, late taxis and missed buses.
There are great websites such as http://hittheroad.ie/ that will give the best route whether by bus, train Dart etc. Simple preparation here will avoid you bursting into the interview sweaty, late and on the back foot.
I am not talking about dieting, starving yourself or eating like an athlete. The day of your interview is not the day to try something adventurous. New food may make you feel queasy, spicy food may give you hiccups, garlicky food… may well stink. Eat something that fills you to avoid the awkward hungry grumbles without sending you into a food coma and leaving you with an uphill battle to demonstrate energy.
Go to the Mirror
Maybe it is a slight paranoia on my part but before public speaking, I like to go look in a mirror. I use this time to rid any small doubts in the back of my head such as “is my tie on right?”, “is there something on my face” and "is there anything in my teeth?". This helps me cast any form of small distraction to come into my head whilst talking.
I also recommend without delving to the levels of Bruce Willis’ character in the show Friends, give yourself a pep talk or try using some power stances (article and video coming soon) to give you a boost before going in.
Bring a Tissue
An unexpected sneeze or a sweaty brow can easily be remedied with a tissue or handkerchief. You don’t want to be stuck sniffling through an interview. It distracts you and the employer from what you are trying to say.
We live in Ireland! It will rain! You don’t want to have gone through the bother of ironing your shirt, picking out the right clothes etc. and walk in soaking wet. Not only is your own presentation dampened but again it is a distraction for all involved.
Aftershave / Perfume
I personally am a big fan of aftershaves and perfumes but unfortunately, some people have a stronger sense of smells or more sensitive noses. Choose wisely what you wear when going to interview. Careful that you have not splashed too much on or that your scent is overpowering in small confined meeting rooms.
Know what you want to say!
Your answers in an interview should be rehearsed. Even better if you can say them allowed but practice answering questions. The majority of the interview you should be able to prep with your recruiter/ friend/family member/dog. There are standard questions that you should not be trying to devise an answer on the spot. Your recruiter or websites like Glassdoor often give sample questions or what is usually asked – prepare for these.
Also, plan what key points you want to bring across to the interviewer (particular relevant project etc.) and what information you wish to gain from the meeting (pre-planned questions for the end of the interview.)
If you use these tips, it will not alone get you the job. That is not the purpose of this article. The above tips are here to help you feel more comfortable so you can perform to your best and leave a positive impression.