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If you do nothing else, consider these 4 must-dos at an Interview:

1. Time

Allow enough time to get to the interview so that you won’t arrive feeling stressed or hot and flustered. Leave for the interview early and aim to arrive 10 minutes early to give yourself plenty of time, should a delay occur. This will also allow you to attend to your hair, cool down or touch up. Consider having a practice run to reach the interview place on time. Lateness is not an option.

If you have spare time, sit somewhere nearby to gather your thoughts, reflect on possible questions you may be asked and most importantly, breathe deeply and relax. If you are running late always ensure that the recruiter/ employer is notified, an apology extended, and an estimated time of arrival provided. Therefore, have the interviewer and/or agency recruiter numbers in your phone in case you need to call while on the way.  If circumstances ‘beyond your control’ prevent you from getting to an interview or meeting on time, call earlier rather than later.

 2.Consider your appearance, and first impression.

  • Pay attention to your personal appearance and dress appropriately for the organisation – see our section on Body Language for further information.
  • Create a positive first impression – you have the first 5 minutes or so to make this happen.
  • Be sure to smile, give a firm handshake, maintain eye contact and exhibit positive body language.
  • Take as little as possible with you. You don’t want to be fumbling around with folders, bags and pens when the interviewer comes to greet you. One folio / satchel with a pen and paper, with any questions you may wish to ask is ample.

3.Be prepared.

Adaps’ tips on Behavioural Event interviewing techniques discuss this in detail. Research the role and company well before the interview. You can often review the company via the internet or request more information from the recruiter before the interview. Your task is to find out as much as you can about the culture and goals of the organisation, including the size and various locations. Also ensure you read through all the information sent from the Recruiter – for example, Behavioural Event Interview notes.

Also:

  • Make sure you have practical examples that demonstrate you have the skills and personality traits for the role.
  • Make sure you’ve done your research.  Demonstrate your interest in the role and the company by proving to the interviewer that you have done this research.
  • Have some specific questions about the role and company ready. (samples here)

 4.Stay Calm

  • Take your time, and listen carefully to the questions being asked. If you don’t understand the question, ask for clarification.
  • Sell yourself. It is up to you to communicate in person why you are the right person for the job.
  • Always thank the interviewer for their time and the opportunity, and let them know that you are interested in the role.

Note:  Strong ‘people skills’ are something that organisations, including those in the IT field, are now placing more emphasis on, rather than just having the pre-requisite technical skills. In particular, the more senior you become, the more likely it is that interviews and roles will centre on your people skills. This is especially true at the high income end of IT jobs. In fact, it’s one of the main factors that separates candidates in occupations such as Business Analysts and Project Managers, from other IT professionals.