Prepare as far in advance as possible. Do your research. Find out about the organization through their website, their social media pages and their press. Get a feel for their brand and how you may fit in with their strategy. If you know anyone who works within the organization, speak to them to get a feeling for what it is like to work for the organization.
Push for as much information as possible regarding your interview and who will be present. It can be intimidating if you are only expecting one person, only to find three. If you know the name of the person or people who will be interviewing you, try googling them and also putting their information into linked in. Their job titles should give you some insight into the type of interview you can expect. i.e. If you are being interviewed by a technical person, you can expect some technical questions.
Write down some common interview questions and try to prepare answers that relate to the information you have gleaned through your research, you can impress your interviewer with your knowledge of their culture, brand and challenges.
Be prepared to look your very best. This includes shiny shoes, a haircut (if necessary), well ironed clothes and a smile.
Make sure you know exactly how you are getting to your interview, how much time it will take and prepare for contingencies such as traffic jams and Friday prayers. It is much better to arrive with time for a drink at a nearby cafe and a few deep breaths before the interview, than to arrive late, totally frazzled due to bad traffic. Print out a copy of the job specification and have that with you so that you can read it before you go into your interview. Just as you should not be late, don’t turn up too early. You should aim to arrive exactly 5 minutes before the interview is due to start, not too early and definitely not late.
If you are feeling nervous, take some deep breaths. Your interviewer will be expecting some nerves so don’t worry too much. Hopefully they will be an experienced interview who can put you at ease.
If you need to think about an answer don’t be scared to do so. You may even like to say, “I need to think about that”, pause, gather your thoughts and then give your answer. You don’t have to answer questions immediately and if you are really nervous, you may like to ensure you are not speaking too quickly.
Write down some questions you would like to ask in relation to the organization / role. It is important to ask questions in an interview as these show you are interested. You should prepare a minimum of five questions before the discussion. You may also like to ask your interview “what’s it like to work here”?
At the end of the interview you may like to ask “do you think I can do the job”? Or “can you see me fitting in with your organization” this will give the interviewer an opportunity to clarify any doubts they may have.
Don’t forget to thank the interviewer for their time and ask for when you can expect to hear back from them. You may also like to say something positive such as “I have enjoyed our discussion enormously, I can see myself fitting in with your organization and I hope to receive a positive response from you”.
If they say they will come back to you on Monday. You may like to say “I look forward to hearing from you on Monday, if I don’t hear anything by Wednesday is it okay if I call you”?
Don’t forget to send a thank you note after the interview. This should be a very brief note stating “thank you very much for your time today; it was a pleasure meeting you. I would like to restate my interest in the role and I look forward to hearing from you on Monday, as discussed”.
If you have any lingering questions, you may also like to address these in your email.