- Research and prepare
- Think about your image
- Look after yourself
- Think ahead
- Use facilities
- Meeting and greeting
- Be a good listener
- Speak effectively
- Make a good impression
- Exchange information
- Ask appropriate questions
- An effective finish
- Say thank you
- Ask for feedback
Before you go to an interview, find out as much as you can about the company and the job you are applying for. Think about what sort of person would be good at that job and which of your skills, experience and attitudes could persuade the interviewer that you are that person.
Make sure that you sort out your clothes the night before, that they are clean, fresh and ironed and that your shoes are clean. Don't wear heavy perfume or aftershave.
Get enough sleep the night before and try not to plan anything stressful on the day of your interview. If at all possible, keep the day free.
Be on time. If you are unsure of the journey either do a trial run at the same time on another day or allow yourself far too much time and take the opportunity to get in the right frame of mind over a hot or cold drink.
Make sure your mobile phone is switched off before you enter the interview room.
If there is a cloakroom or place in reception leave your coat, umbrella, gloves, scarf, anything you don't need - then you won't have to juggle them when you get into the room.
Shake hands and introduce yourself when you enter the interview room. A medium-firm handshake is best. Wait to be asked to sit.
Listen carefully to the questions you are asked and don't be afraid to ask for clarification if you don't understand anything. Maintain eye-contact and nod to show you hear and understand.
Answer questions as clearly and concisely as you can. Make sure your answers are relevant. If you get muddled, apologise, explain that you are really nervous and start again. Maintain eye-contact and sit in a relaxed but upright position.
Don't speak badly of a previous employer: it will make you sound disloyal.
Make sure that you know everything you need to. Work out before hand what you need to tell the interviewer - such as when you could start work and what salary you would expect if that is negotiable - and then you will be ready with your answers when asked.
Have a couple of questions ready in case the interviewer asks if you have any. If you are stuck for something to say and it hasn't already been covered, ask about opportunities for advancement or training entitlement. Or ask about what will happen next in the selection process and when you might expect to hear if successful or not.
When the interviewer indicates that the interview is at an end, stand, smile, say goodbye and shake hands once more.
Don't forget to thank the receptionist if there is one, the people in these roles can be very influential!
If you don't get the job, ask for a debrief. The interviewer may be prepared to offer you feedback either on the telephone or in writing. Try to find out where you came across well and where badly so that next time you will interview better.