Interviews will almost certainly be nerve-racking experiences if you are looking for your first job out of college or even looking to move on in the career ladder. It is important to remember that if you get as far as the interview stage, the potential employer has singled you out as someone who would be a good fit for the company, and is really assessing if your personality will fit with the culture in the workplace.
Most resources online will tell you that the most vital thing when it comes to interviews, of course, is preparation. Take a look at this post for the things that you wish you had known before your interview.
What exactly should you prepare for though? Step back and think about your role. What will be required of you on a day-to-day basis, what kind of skills will they be looking for? More often than not, they fall under the bracket of communication, self-motivation and time management. Have two or three solid examples of situations where you have used these skills and the direct effect they had on your workplace. Even if you don’t get asked directly, it is a great way to make your answers better for a similar question.
What you wear should play next to no part in getting the job or not, however, giving a professional appearance can play a huge part. If you are interviewing for a position that is client facing, it is almost certain you should dress in a suit if you’re a guy, and a formal blouse and skirt if you’re a girl. Your interviewers may not just be looking for your skill-set but also how you are likely to be in front of clients, are you a natural salesman? Dressing casual in this scenario is likely to be unwise.
However, if the job is more back of house, not often coming into contact with anyone outside of the business, a more casual approach is likely to pay dividends. By dressing in a jumper and tie, you give the impression you understand your potential role and are likely to fit in well with your colleagues. Although this may sound ridiculous, you only spend a short amount of time in an interview, much of which the interviewer will forget about when you walk out of the room. First impressions matter!
Be yourself! It is no good getting a job now that you will hate six months down the line. Make sure you think why you want to work for this company, and you will find your rewards are greater. Remember, an interview is a chance for you to see if you will be a good fit, just as much as it is for them.
If you follow these simple steps, you will be fine. Remember: Relax, Prepare and wear your lucky underwear!
Written by Jon, who is currently working for House of Fraser, specifically their lucky men’s underwear department.