05 January 2017 | Career Advice | Guest Author
Once you’ve put the hard work into your CV and cover letter, and the invitation to an interview finally lands in your inbox, what are the easiest ways to leave a good impression with your potential employer? Below are a few tips and tricks to point you in the right direction…
You need to start as you mean to go on, so making sure you turn up to your interview on time is absolutely crucial. In fact, you should always aim to arrive around 15 minutes before your allotted time, so that while reception alerts the interviewer to your arrival, you still have a few minutes to relax and go over your notes once more.
2. Dress sense
What you wear to an interview says a lot about you as a person, but it’s important that you dress accordingly for the position. You might have a crazy and creative dress sense, but the interviewer needs to know that you’re able to fit in with their team and show a professional side. Whether you’re going to be working on the shop floor in uniform, or in the art department with no rules on attire, you need to show that you’re able to represent the company to clients when needed, and a smart suit, shirt or blouse combination is best.
3. Always arrive prepared
It goes without saying that you should prepare for the kinds of questions you’re likely to get asked, such as explaining your relevant experience, but a sure-fire way to impress is to drop in pieces of information about the company. For example, when talking about why you want to work for them, it would be useful to add: “I saw that you recent won an award for “X” – that made me feel like I would be working within a successful environment that I could learn from”.
4. Demonstrate your knowledge of the field
In the same way that you want to show your knowledge of the company, try to show your understanding of the industry where possible. For example, if you’re looking to move into the HR, it’s likely they’ll ask you about the challenges you would come up against, or ask for your opinion on how to improve things. Make sure you’ve thoroughly researched the competition if it’s for a HR firm, and if it’s in-house, the types of packages currently available that help to cut down on inefficiencies (such as the Cascade HR software here).
5. Ask the right questions
Finally, you should always aim to ask a couple of questions at the end of an interview, but if you really want to impress, try to work in information that’s come up during the course of the conversation. For example, if they mentioned the company structure, ask more about the specific team you’d be working with. Plus, it’s always good to show that you’re keen to develop, so you can always ask about career opportunities.