Graduates

5 tips to prepare you for an interview

If you’re reading this you’ve probably got an interview on the horizon. If that’s the case, well done! Mathematically speaking, the hard bit is done. You’ve outrun the majority of the candidates and you’ve bagged yourself some FaceTime with the employers. Now you have a short space of time to show them what you got and why they need to have you as much as you need to have them (don’t mention you need to have them). We can’t help you with that but what we can do is give you a few pointers in the right direction.

  1. Arrive early

How early? That’s up to you. Some people arrive hours earlier, others only minutes. But this is         a key thing to never forget. Arrive early and you give yourself time to soak in the environment and cool your head before your time arrives. An obvious part of this is to make sure you leave your house at the right time but we have Citymapper for that, don’t we?

  1. Dress for the occasion

Dressing for an interview may at first glance seem an easy thing. *Dress smart, super smart*. But if your first thought is to dress smart, super smart, then your second thought should be whether that’s the right thing to do given where you are interviewing. Some places will expect you to dress professionally (banks, management consultancies, financial services) but if you turn up at a design studio dressed like a corporate then you’re giving off the wrong vibe. Research the employer, see what it’s employees on LinkedIn are wearing in their photos, and you should be able to work out which section of Zara you’re going to spend the most time in.

  1. Smile, be happy 

A smile can go a long way in any occasion but it goes an extra long way in an interview. Half of an interview’s success is how you answer their questions, the other half is how you make them feel and being happy and cheerful is an important part of this. If you’re feeling glum or nervous, watch some funny YouTube videos before you go in. Tickling a slow loris always does the trick.

  1. Look ‘em in the eye!

Always look your interviewer(s) in the eye when they’re talking and when you’re talking. It’s basic decency, highlights your confidence and makes them know you’re focused on them and nothing else. Don’t believe it? Get your friend to look away whenever you have a conversation and see what happens.

  1. Always have a question. 

At the end of their questions it is customary for them to ask you if you have any questions. Its standard practice and you should be weirded out if they don’t. The worst thing to do here is say ‘no thanks for your time’. Always have at least two questions in the bank to ask them. Good questions reflect on another set of skills which may not always show when all you’re doing is answering. Just make sure your questions aren’t related to pay, holidays and whether the office has a ping pong table.

There we go. With these five tips and your brilliance the job should be yours easy peasy. Good luck!

Alex
I’m a Founding Partner of Bamboo Crowd. I help our clients invest better in people and scale through Engine. I solve recruitment challenges and help our clients source the best talent across operations, business development, programme management, and technology. Ask me about good films, beards and hip hop.