There's no denying the fact that job interviews often suit outgoing personality types. You might be a superstar problem-solving data-crunching machine, but in a one-on-one with a stranger who holds all the cards, all of your words could get piled atop one another, and without prior planning, your first impression is not going to be that great.
Excellent performance in the interview scenario requires preparation, positivity and plenty of muscle memory. That way, even if you're not super comfortable in situations like this, you can be ready, and know you've done the hard yards to own this moment.
Here are our TOP THREE DO's and DON'Ts to think about and work through, so that once you have levelled up from CV submission, you can face up to the face-to-face interview with a smile - even if it is through gritted teeth.
Find out everything you can about the company and its culture online. Look at their website, their social media pages, and take note of the language they use, the clothes they wear, the personality they present - this will not only give you a great idea as to whether they're the right fit for you, but also you'll get a better idea as to how you might best present yourself in the interview scenario. Simply knowing you've dressed for the part can be a huge help!
DON'T: Wing it.
No matter how smart you are or how good you feel - don't walk into the Colosseum without first finding out if you're fighting gladiators or lions today.
DO: Be on time.
Yes, it's obvious but, getting to a new place can present all sorts of random factors - so it pays to plan your trip and give yourself plenty of time. We've all seen the movie where the interviewee flies through the door ten minutes late, covered in sweat, papers falling from their briefcase… not a great look. Note that arriving 10 to 15 minutes before your interview is sufficient, any more than and you start to put people out.
DON'T: Make excuses.
You have to own the interview. If things go wrong, be up front about it. Accept it, and move on. Honesty is the cornerstone of any fruitful employment, and that honesty starts at the first meeting. Actually, it starts with your CV and cover letter… but that's another story for another newsletter.
DO: Ask questions.
They want to know about you, sure. It pays to show you want to know about them too. Asking about specific expectations and goals for the company and the position in question shows the employer that you've done your homework and are genuinely interested.
DON'T: Be a don'ter.
The last, and many say the most crucial thing - BE POSITIVE! If you can navigate the interview without being negative, it'll be a big win for your chances. Try not to criticise previous employers, even if goaded by the interviewer - these types of questions can be a subtle, simple test to judge your character. Keep it bright. Think instead of how you may have helped previous employers. Ways you improved the places you have worked in.
The last word: believe in yourself. If you've done your prep, you'll know what to expect so that you can project confidence. Take your time; think about each answer, and remember to breathe.