The purpose of an interview is to determine if your skills, abilities, experience and character will fit the position and company your are interviewing with, and also to give you the chance to see if the opportunity on offer is the right one for you. It is important to always make a good impression and appear positive about the job, the company and about yourself. If you are eventually offered the job you can always turn it down but will have no choice if they reject you first.
Find out as much as you can about the company
- Do your research. Find out as much as you can about the company you are interviewing with - check the newspapers, visit their home page. A good basic understanding of a company indicates strong interest and shows enthusiasm while a complete lack of knowledge indicates the opposite.
- Think of some interesting and relevant questions to ask the interviewer.
- Prepare answers to questions you think you maybe asked - see our Interview questions page for a detailed list of likely questions.
Take a clean copy of your resume
- Make an effort over your appearance and personal presentation. Look sharp. Go into the interview with a positive attitude.
- Refrain from smoking, even if offered, both before and in the interview.
- Take a clean copy of your resume, especially if you originally applied by fax or via the internet.
- Have a strong confident handshake.
- Maintain comfortable eye contact.
- If you are asked to fill out any forms, take your time and ensure you complete them in full and accurately.
- If there is a test, ensure you understand the instructions completely and use only permitted materials. If unsure, ask.
- Be prepared - learn from your past interviews and study up for this one.
Remember to shake hands
- At the end of the interview, thank the interviewer for the opportunity to meet with them, express a strong interest in the position and ask what the next step is.
- Remember to shake hands again before leaving.
- Wait until you are out of sight and earshot from the building before showing any further reaction or telephoning anyone to discuss what happened.
Take a note
- Make a note of the questions you were asked - they may come up again.
- Think about your replies - could you have answered better.
- If you did not have an answer or didn't understand a question ensure you investigate everything about that particular point.
- Incorporate any feedback into your interview preparation for next time - often there are only one or two points separating the successful candidate from the runner up and what you have learned could make the difference.