Hooray, you’ve got an interview – all the hard work you put into your CV and job application has paid off.
But we don’t just want you to get a foot in the door; we want your feet firmly under the table.
The most important part of an interview is what happens before the big day. Yes, this means preparation (and lots of it). But it’s not all down to you. We’re with you every step of the way to ensure you make the most of yourself in the meeting.
We’ll help you get totally up to speed, as well as lay the groundwork with the company beforehand. This means, before you’ve even walked through the door, you’ll know what’s expected of you and the employer will be clear on what you can bring to their business. A good start, don’t you think?
Below you’ll find some general advice on what to do before, on the day and during your interview. Some of it is pretty straightforward, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget – especially when you’re nervous.
What to do before the interview
What you do before an interview can be as important as what you do in it. Preparation will give you the knowledge to answer questions with confidence, making you look relaxed and in control (even if you don’t feel it!).
Find out all you can about the company– research its services, accounts, position in the marketplace and how it’s developed over the past few years.
Visit the company’s website– this may seem obvious, but it’s important.
Catch up on the latest company news – look in the trade press and online.
Match your skills to the requirements – you can do this by researching the job specification (if there is one).
Have some case studies in mind – so you can talk easily about your skills, successes and achievements.
Prepare plenty of questions – this helps show a genuine interest in the company and the role.
What to do on the day of an interview
So the day’s arrived. You’re well prepared and ready to go. There are just one or two things you should remember beforehand:
Dress smart but casual.
Don’t turn up late or any earlier than five minutes– if you’re delayed, call the people you are meeting in plenty of time.
Be polite to everyone – this means EVERYONE, whether they look important or not; after all they may be asked about you later or you could even end up working with them.
Don’t go if you’re ill – just cancel in good time and re-arrange so you’re at your best.
What to do in the interview
This is it, the moment you get to put all your preparation into practice. It’s natural to feel nervous, but here are a few tips on how to make the most of your time:
Be confident – you’ve made it this far because they think you may be right for the job and it’s your confidence that’ll convince them they’re right.
Smile and make eye contact – firm handshakes are important; weak, wet or sloppy ones don’t make a good impression.
Discuss things you know and are enthusiastic about – employers want people who are passionate about what they do (if you can, steer the conversation towards topics you’re confident talking about).
Be aware of your body language – do engage the interviewer and look interested in what they are saying.
Use case studies to highlight your achievements – if you have a portfolio, remember to ask if they’d like to see it (but remember, most employers are interested in the big thinking behind one or two campaigns not a little bit about lots).
Be enthusiastic – employers want to see energy and keenness for their role, make them feel wanted.
Remember it’s a two-way process – an interview is your opportunity to find out about the job and whether it’s right for you, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Give concise reasons why you want to leave your current job – but be careful not to run it down or be too negative.
Make it clear what you can bring to their business – let them know why you’d like to join.