How to ace that interview before you’ve even started
Congratulations! You’ve been applying for some of the brilliant flexible roles on MummyJobs.co.uk and you’ve bagged an interview for your dream job.
Now you’ve got your foot in the door, it’s time to really sell yourself – and, as Benjamin Franklin said, by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail, so make sure you do your homework.
Research the company
It sounds obvious, but interviewers will expect you to know the company, and we don’t just mean the name and address. How many people does it employ? What exactly does the firm do? What are its current projects and past highlights?
Remember, don’t just look at its website – stalk its social media channels too. This can give you a vital insight into how the firm sees itself – and how it engages with its audience. Is it playful? Quirky? Corporate? Does it interact with its audience or retain a sense of distance? Once you know this, you can adjust your interview technique accordingly.
Read the job description
We assume you gave it more than a cursory glance when you sent in your application, but now you need to get to grips with every single aspect. Why? So you can come up with examples of how to demonstrate you are the candidate the interviewer is looking for.
Feel you don’t have all the skills required? Think outside the box – what life experience do you have that could help? Are you willing to undertake extra training? Whatever you do, don’t focus on the negative – it will only encourage the interviewer to do the same.
Plan your journey
Make sure you know exactly where you’re going and how to get there. While being late for an interview is not the end of the world, it’s less than ideal and will create a pretty poor first impression.
Research your route, and how long it will take – consider a test run the day before, and make sure you have a back-up plan.
If the worst comes to the worst and you are running late, don’t panic! Ring the firm, explain the situation and give them an ETA.
Prepare your outfit
Ok, so we’re assuming you know the basics – no flipflops or swimwear, no visible underwear and no ‘comedy’ T-shirts – but in the modern world, it’s not all about power dressing.
If you’ve done your research (see point one) you may have come across staff profiles – try to emulate the style other people have gone for. You want to give the subliminal message that you will fit in, in more ways than one.
A good start is to keep it simple and make sure you’re comfortable – you don’t want to be jangling with jewellery every time you move or panting as your new shirt is restricting your airflow.
There’s some doubt over who said, ‘You only get one chance to make a first impression’, but there’s no doubt that they were right.
And it was probably your mum who said, ‘Manners don’t cost anything’, and guess what? She was right too.
A positive, polite demeanour will take you a long way, but don’t save the charm for your interview. Be courteous to the people on reception and any other members of staff – the interviewer may be in charge today, but these are the people you’ll work with if you’re successful. You don’t know the structure of the company, or who talks to who, so be on your best behaviour with a smile on your face from the moment you walk through the door.
The big day
If you’ve followed all these tips, you’re in the right place, at the right time and wearing the right outfit.
All you need to do now is run a brush through your hair, check your teeth for spinach and smile – you’ve got this!