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Are You Prepared For Your Job Interview?

You’ve proactively being looking for work for several weeks and have already been through the diligent process of ensuring your CV and cover letter is up to scratch, not to mention the numerous telephone calls with recruitment consultants, and now that moment has eventually arrived, you’ve been selected for an interview! But wait, what now? Are you ready?

It is vitally important to be fully prepared in advance as this will help bolster your confidence and give you a positive mind set. Plan ahead for success.

What Should You Do Before The Interview?

  • Research the job and the company. Memorise the names and positions of any interviewers (if known) and prepare any relevant questions you plan to ask them.
  • The day before, call the company and in a professional manner confirm the interview time and location.
  • Make sure you know the location and travelling time. Make allowances for the unexpected such as traffic delays, getting lost or car parking issues. If possible do a dry run to get it firmly fixed in your mind.
  • Get together items you plan to take. E.g. copy CV, examples of your work (if applicable), notepad and good quality pen. All this will show you’re organised.
  • Ensure your ‘interview clothing’ is clean and pressed and shoes are polished. Don’t leave it to the last minute. Plan to cover up any tattoos and remove any visible facial or other jewellery as appropriate. Dress for confidence and not casually.
  • Avoid eating spicy or over-garlicky strong-smelling foods the day before.
  • Get a good night’s sleep and take a morning shower so you and your mind can be fresh and alert.


Arriving At Your Interview:

Tip Treat Everyone With Respect – On arrival, smile! Behave warmly, professionally and with enthusiasm. Be courteous to the receptionist or anyone else you meet. You never know, you might even bump into your future boss!

  • Try to arrive for the interview only 10 to 15 minutes beforehand
  • If needed, visit the toilet and freshen up.
  • Turn off your mobile phone.


At Your Introduction To The Interview:

Tip  Maintain A ‘Stand Tall’ Posture  – Think and feel confident and you will display confidence.

  • Greet the interviewer(s) confidently with good eye contact and a smile. Initiate a good, strong handshake (not limp or with a vice grip) and offer a polite and enthusiastic greeting, something like “It’s a pleasure to meet you”.
  • Don’t be presumptuous and take a seat, wait to be shown where to sit.


During The Interview:

Tip  Be Yourself And Keep Focused –Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Be truthful, be natural, controlled and maintain self-confidence. Believe in yourself. You’ve got this far!

  • Your body language speaks louder than words. Control and maintain:
     - Your posture (don’t slouch, fidget, yawn or cross your arms defensively);
     - Good eye contact (but not excessive);
     - Gesturing (moderate)
     - When listening, also acknowledge with nods and smiles.
    Be yourself and many of these attributes will come naturally. If you are sincere, friendly and genuinely keen and interested to work for the company then your confidence, energy, posture, smile, eye contact, enthusiasm and gesturing will naturally breathe life into the interview.
  • Give your undivided attention to the interviewer, do not drift off in your thoughts or lose your cue when you have to comment. Jotting down extremely brief notes and key points also displays interaction and can help.
  • Think before you speak! Breathe, speak clearly and don’t rush it. This will help counteract any speak ticks or add ins such as ‘umm’, ‘mmm’, ‘ah’, ‘like’, ‘eh’, ‘so’, ‘you know’, ‘right’, ‘yeah’.
  • As you start to get into the interview don’t relax too much or get overly familiar. Avoid leaning back in your chair and definitely don’t use course language.
  • If you don’t understand or fully grasp a question or statement, then ask for clarification.
  • If asked about previous employers, work colleagues or your work conditions and experience, don’t criticise, keep it positive and focus on what you have learnt and achieved.

After The Interview:

  • Tip  Don’t Let Your Guard Down – Don’t relax until you are safely away from the building – Even after you leave the interview area you may be observed so be professional at all times.
  • When your interview has concluded, be polite and shake hands, no matter how you think the interview went! Always leave on a positive note.
  • Later, show your appreciation to the interviewer by quickly following up with an e-mail or letter thanking them for their time and consideration in seeing you, along with your desire to work with them.


This pre / post interview guide is by no means definitive as there is a wealth of knowledge, information and expertise on the internet to help you successfully get through an interview. Simply search on terms such as:

Pre-interview tips and techniques;
Interview rules for employees;
Important job interview tips;
The best job interview tips;
Interview tips and techniques

Also, here are some useful links: 


Want to know the sort of interview questions you could get asked? Click here now!


Transform your thinking, prepare for your interview the ‘HR Transformations Way!’
We wish you every success.


Published at: 3:24pm on 29th May 2015

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