Being invited to an interview means you’ve passed the first test.

Your profile, CV and initial contact with the employer must have made a good impression. But don’t relax. You need to cross that final hurdle.

Interviewing is one of the most nerve-wracking aspects of the job hunting process. But good preparation is the key to staying in control, calming interview nerves and ensuring that you can go into the interview room feeling confident.

Remember that if an employer is holding an interview for a position, it’s in their interests to fill it. If you believe you’re right for the job, then they are much more likely to believe it too.

It always helps to have done some prior research. Print off and have with you a copy of your CV and cover letter, along with copies of references, qualifications and permits. Prepare answers to some of the most common interview questions about your personal strengths and weaknesses, and be ready to explain why you would be the best person for the job. The night before, try to get a good night’s sleep: don’t go out! 

On the day, adhere to the company dress policy and make sure you look neat and presentable, paying attention to all the minor details. Basic hygiene is a must: wash, brush your teeth, clean your fingernails, use deodorant, and don’t wear too much aftershave or perfume. Men - make sure that you are clean-shaven. Women – keep makeup and jewelry subtle. Don’t smoke!

Once in the interview room, remember that over 80% of all communication is nonverbal: use your body language to project a confident, enthusiastic, positive mental attitude. If you believe in yourself, this is likely to rub off on your interviewer. So give a firm handshake. Smile. Sit up straight. Try and use the name of the person interviewing you at least once, and keep looking them in the eye. 

Listen carefully to the questions you are asked, think before you speak, and don’t waffle – answer as succinctly as you can, avoiding slang and jargon. And if you don’t know the answer to a question, say so! Try to keep calm: deep breathing often helps you to relax. Speak clearly and at a moderate pace, but use some variety of tone. Having some questions to ask at the end of the interview will demonstrate your interest in the position.

Make an impact

Creating a good impression is crucial, and you rarely get a second chance.

  • Employers get hundreds of applications so you only have a few seconds to make a good impression. This happens several times. At your initial point-of-contact. When they view your online profile. When they look at your CV. And when you have your interview. At each of these stages, put yourself in an employer’s shoes. Imagine what they will be looking for in terms of skills, experience, qualifications and personality. Be clear and concise. Be honest and professional. Carefully proof-read for spelling mistakes and bad grammar. Ask someone you trust to check what you have written.
  • The first impression you will make with DirectTemping clients is through your first email or “cover letter” to the employer which will establish your interest in a position. The sooner you do this, the better: when you see a job advertisement that you like the look of, don’t delay. Remember, most employers need their temping vacancies filled as soon as possible, so many will create a shortlist of candidates on a first-come, first-served basis. At the same time, don’t rush – it is that first step towards your perfect job, don’t fall before you've even got on the ladder!
  • If the recruiter likes your cover letter, the next step is for them to look at your online profile and CV for further information. It is very important that these reflect well on you and help you to stand out from the crowd. Think of them as your shop window or visiting card. They represent you, and they have a specific purpose: to take you to the next step – the interview... If you have already impressed before you even get to that step, it will be a lot easier to win the employer over in the long-run.
  • The interview is the final hurdle. At the employer’s discretion, it may be held over the phone or in person. Either way, no matter how good you look on paper, you need to convey a professional image: after all, actions speak louder than words. You need to back up your skill set and experience with a first impression that leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind that you’re the right candidate for the job. If you are presentable, fully prepared and self-assured before your interview, you shouldn't have any problems here.