The Interview – On The Day

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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It sounds obvious, but it is very important to arrive at the interview location in plenty of time. It can be a good idea to do a trial run the day before so that you know exactly where to go and how long it takes to get there. When you arrive go straight to the reception area, smile, and say why you re there. While you are waiting your turn, try to remain calm and look poised.

Be sure to bring a copy of your r sum and some samples of your work if appropriate (e. g. for an editorial or design position).

You should dress formally for any interview, even if you won t be wearing a business suit if you get the job. There is no need for excessive jewellery or hairstyles. This helps to give you a mature and professional appearance, and is one less thing to worry about on the day.

When you are called, walk into the interview room looking both positive and assertive. Don’t shuffle in, but equally, don t barge through like you own the place. Shake hands with the interviewer or interviewers, look them in the eye and use their name, if you know it. Most interviewers will know how daunting an interview can be, so they will be encouraging and try to put you at your ease.

Sit fairly still with a straight back, and look alert and interested. Sitting with folded arms, your hands in front of your face, or your head propped up on your hand all give inappropriate messages. Try not to fiddle with pencils, ear lobes, chins or locks of hair. Eye contact is critical.

As a rule of thumb, try to maintain eye contact for about two-thirds of the duration of any interaction with someone. Also, don t be afraid to throw a few gentle smiles into your interview session, despite the nerves, to show them what a nice, decent person you are.

When being interviewed by a panel of three or more people, remember to include everyone. Keep your body posture square to the whole panel and scan each person with your eyes. The guy who is saying nothing on the end might be the critical decision maker.

Leave an interview as positively as you arrived. Avoid the tendency to bow and scrape your way to the door, fearful of turning your back on the interviewer. The same assertive handshake is required as at the beginning, followed by a brief thank-you statement, and an elegant exit.

Job interviews can be a little stressful for most people, but if you prepare properly you can banish the nerves as much as possible, and put yourself in the best position to secure the job that you are looking for.

Frank Bolger

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