Everything you do and say during an interview is important: How you arrive, the way you look, the way you behave, what you say and how you say it, must combine to create a winning impression.
Different industries have different dress codes, but a clean, conservative, professional suite is always an advisable way to present yourself at an interview.
You must get the basics right and that includes punctuality! Check that you have the correct address, that you know how to get there and how long it will take you. Do all of this the day before! Leave early to ensure that you arrive early. This will create a good impression and will allow you time to use the bathroom and to gather your thoughts before you go in. Cool, calm and collected is the way to enter an interview!
Greet everyone warmly and approach the interview with confidence and focus. Remember that you can be friendly and open without sharing too much personal information, striking the balance between friendly and professional.
Don’t forget about the importance of body language. Remember to maintain eye contact, to smile where appropriate and to sit upright. Avoid fidgeting, slouching and biting your nails.
You want to ensure that your honesty and integrity shine through. Don’t speak badly of previous employers and honour your current employment contract, including any notice periods. A potential employer will look at how you treat your current employer as an indication of how you will treat them.
It’s a good idea to follow up straight after the interview. An email to the interviewer thanking him/her for the opportunity and the time spent with you creates a good impression, whilst providing you with another opportunity to express your interest in the role.
Author: Kim Elliott
Editor: Thembakazi Yamiso