First impressions at interview

Employers are always telling us about the silly and quite serious mistakes students make when applying for jobs, well it doesn’t stop there!

When it comes to interview make sure you don’t fall into these common traps! 

Don’t be late

In the real world time is money: The interviewer will have a tight schedule and will not have time to hang about waiting for you. If you can’t turn up on time for an interview it gives the impression you don’t care and will not be a good employee.

If you are running late (cancelled trains, missed buses or general inability to find the building) ring the employer to apologise. They won’t really care what your excuse is, take ownership of the problem and pray that they might be able to reschedule you. (Don’t bet on it though – we have heard employers are getting tough!)

Dress Smartly 

You really do need to wear a suit to an interview.  Companies may say they have a casual dress policy but…

 a) It’s probably not as casual as you think, and

 b) Definitely not at interview!

We have heard from companies recently who have said that candidates have turned up to interviews casually dressed, they haven’t turned them away but when reviewing all the candidates’ performances it counted against them and they were not selected. Make sure you have a respectable looking coat, bag or folder too.

The basics! 

You would think it would be blindingly obvious but…

  •  Bring a map – so you can find the building – better still locate it in advance!
  • Bring the contact details of the person you are meeting – when you arrive at reception they will need to know who you are meeting.
  • If you have an umbrella or overnight bags arrive early so that you can arrange to store them somewhere and freshen up.
  • Bring your diary, and make sure you have a note of any dates you are not available to work. 

Crisis management

  •  Sniffles and sneezes can happen to anyone – take a pack of tissues.
  • Wearing tights? Take a spare pair in-case you snag them.
  • A small pack of wet wipes can be handy for smudges, drips and stains.

Don’t make them sorry they invited you in the first 10 seconds. The rest of the interview – now thats a topic for another discussion!


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