The interview

Sell your brand: the interview

The day of your interview arrives and after thorough preparation, you are feeling confident. However, if you have never been interviewed for a job beforeThis guide highlights exactly what is likely to occur, how to best present yourself and how you can ensure you make a positive impression. 
 
Arriving
 
It’s important to ensure you arrive on time and with at least 10 minutes to spare. This extra time before an interview will allow you to settle into the office or waiting area to compose your thoughts. There is nothing more stressful than rushing around trying to find a new location, running into the office in the nick of time hot and dishevelled, then having to walk straight into a job interview. 
 
Meet and greet
 
When entering the office, smile with confidence and notify the receptionist who you are, who you are meeting with and at what time. Be friendly and polite. If you are early you are likely to be asked to take a seat in a waiting area, so sit patiently and take the time to relax/calm your nerves. You’ll often find company literature, awards or industry magazines in this area – so don’t miss out on your last chance to read up on the company and impress the interviewer with your knowledge. 
 
If you notice your interviewer approaching you or asking for you at reception, be confident, stand up and introduce yourself making eye contact and offer your hand for a firm hand shake.
 
If you are offered a glass of water, accept it. Often this is the interviewer trying to make you feel more relaxed.
 
Sell your brand
 
You should know the content on your CV inside out, so when asked questions about a previous role, the skills you have listed or your qualifications, you should be able to provide further detail, highlight any relevant achievements that directly relate and provide real life examples of you putting your talent to work. Don’t be afraid to place your CV on the table in front of you to use as a prompt – as long as you continue to make eye contact and avoid reading long passages from the document, it could prove useful in reminding you of what you want to say while you’re under pressure. 
 
When answering questions, take your time, try to relax and remember to breathe! Everyone can get nervous in interviews, but the key is to remember that an employer is already interested in you – they just want to see that you can communicate your skills and experience verbally. 
 
Ask questions
 
During the interview, if you are unsure of a question, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification to ensure you are answering it correctly.
 
At the end of any interview, there is almost always an opportunity to ask the interviewer questions. Be sure you have questions prepared, even if you feel as though everything was covered. Asking further questions shows your enthusiasm and interest in the role. Perhaps you could ask about what the team is like to work with, if they are collaborative or what the company has planned in the next five years. This is where your research can come in handy. Be careful not to ask questions that have already been answered as it will seem like you weren’t paying attention. 
 
Five key questions to ask during your interview
  1. How would you describe the culture of the company?
  2. What challenges could I expect to face in the role, particularly in the first six months?
  3. Who will I be working with the most and what are their roles?
  4. Are there opportunities for a long-term career following the completion of my internship/graduate scheme?
  5. What benefits are available to the employees?
 
Thank them for their time
 
At the conclusion of an interview thank the interviewer/s for their time, express your appreciation for taking the time to meet with you and your interest in moving forward with the organisation. Don’t rush out of the interview as fast as you can without taking a second glance back at the meeting room. Be friendly and professional, shake hands as you thank them for meeting with you and let them know it was nice to have the opportunity. 
 

During an interview…

 
Do
  • Arrive early
  • Shake hands and introduce yourself
  • Speak confidently
  • Ask questions
  • Be thankful for the opportunity 
Don’t
  • Gather your things the morning of the interview
  • Be rude to receptionists, staff or other candidates
  • Speak negatively about previous employers
  • Be afraid to ask your interviewer to repeat a question or clarify if you don’t understand what they’re asking
 
You’ve done it! 
 
Walking out of the office after your interview you might breathe a sigh of relief and feel a weight lift off your shoulders, or, you might feel excited and ready for what’s to come next. So, what is next?
 
You put in all the hard work to prepare for your interview and met the interviewer with confidence and you’re sure you left a positive impression. If you are feeling uncertain about what to do now check out our article ‘The interview follow-up’.
 
Register today to apply for jobs so you can bag that interview.