for a successful interview

There are some fundamental things you should do to ensure your job interview is successful:

1 Be prepared
Make sure you know where your interview is being held, the scheduled time, name of the organisation and how to pronounce it correctly.

2 Know the style of interview
Ask whether it will be a one-on-one interview, a panel interview with other people or a group assessment activity. Ask if there will be any testing involved. Knowing the style will help you prepare better for the event.

3 Allow for delays
If you are taking public transport, allow extra time for delays. If you are driving, allow time to find a parking space, so you do not feel rushed and stressed before the interview.

4 Arrive 5 to 10 minutes early
It is never acceptable to be late. The benefit of arriving early for the interview if it is being held in the company’s headquarters is that you can check out the office and get a feel of its image and how people are dressed.

5 Dress appropriately
Adopt a conservative approach. Choose formal colours, such as navy, grey or black. Do not wear too much jewellery and avoid strong perfume or overbearing aftershave.

6 Shake hands when you meet
Have a firm handshake and maintain eye contact while you do this. If you do not know how to shake hands properly – learn.

7 Smile
Look your interviewers in the eye and they will smile back at you. Keep smiling through the whole interview.

8 Watch your body language
Do not fidget; keep your hands folded in your lap and do not shake your legs.

9 Use the STAR technique
Most interviewers use a competency-based interview technique. They ask questions to help them gain an understanding of you. STAR means:

S: Situation; T: Task; A: Action; R: Result.

When the interviewer asks you a question always try to respond with a specific answer, such as: “The situation or task was..”, “the action I took was…” or “and the result was…”.

10 Take notes
Let the interviewer know you will be writing down points as you discuss the role. This will help you remember details and also give you something to do with your hands.

11 Use a nice pen
Do not use a cheap pen for your job interviews. If you cannot afford a nice one, borrow it from someone. These small details can help you create a good impression.

12 Do your research
Review the details on the Internet, get a copy of an annual company report or ask others what they know about the organization. This will help you ask some intelligent questions about the business.

13 Know your resume well
Be confident when talking about each section of your resume, and focus on your achievements.

14 Keep a spare
Always carry a copy of your resume with you to hand it to the interviewer should he require it.

15 Avoid colored or plastic folders
Your resume should be on white paper and the sheets should be stapled. The interviewer may find plastic folders annoying.

16 Use positive language
Use phrases like “When I am in the role”, “When I start the job” and “When I begin working with you” to make it look as if you have already been offered the job.

17 Interview the interviewer too
this is not just about them checking you out. You need to ask questions and get a feel of the company to determine if you would like to work there.

18 Prepare questions
you could ask questions like:

o when will I be notified I am successful for the job?
o When will I start this new job?
o How many people will I be working with?
o What floor will I be located on?
o What is the dress code here?

19 Send a thank-you note
after you leave the office, write your interviewer a note to thank him for his time and post it the same day. This will leave a good impression and make an impact on your interviewer.

20 Make an impression
be cool, calm and collected. You can count on a successful interview when you are well prepared, confident and act appropriately. Good luck!