Newly qualified? Do these to nail your first interview
You and every other Oxbridge student have most likely been studying in your PJs throughout this pandemic, and who can blame you? But now that this latest lockdown has been lifted and businesses are starting to get ‘back to normal’, chances are you’ll be attending a face-to-face job interview rather than a virtual interview in the not-too-distant future.
Interviews can be scary at the best of times. Add to that recovering from lockdown anxiety and applying for a job you really want, and have just qualified for, and the whole thing can quickly become terrifying.
But that’s what we’re here for. The team at Oxbridge has been with you every step as you’ve studied your way to a sparkling qualification that has set you on the path to a career you’ll truly be passionate about.
And now we’ve got some tips based on research we carried out to increase your chances of interview success.
Do these five things for in-person interview success
We spoke to just over 500 people who recruit candidates regularly and asked them what really gets under their skin. From first impressions to behaviours throughout the interview, make sure you do the following to ensure you make the best impression possible at your next interview:
1. Arrive at the interview early
Travelling earlier than necessary will not only ensure you arrive on time, but it will also make the entire experience less stressful. Factor in unforeseen events such as the bus or train being delayed or, worse, breaking down. Something like this is beyond your control but will still make a terrible first impression on your interviewers. Getting an earlier bus or train or driving in early will be one less thing to worry about and means that you go into the meeting as calm as possible.
We recommend arriving at your interview at least 15 minutes early.
2. Don’t swear under any circumstances
Even if your interviewer is dropping an F-bomb now and then. 32% of interviewers hate it when a candidate swears. Foul language comes across as unprofessional, especially if you’re applying for a client or customer-facing role. So watch your tongue to increase your chances of success.
3. Pay close attention to hygiene
And that means more than bringing your mask just in case and carrying hand sanitiser. 22% of the interviewers we spoke to said that bad hygiene or body odour is highly off-putting. Remember that they have to consider the entire team's comfort, and poor hygiene won’t go down well.
Even if you're the most qualified person, you may not be offered the position if your hygiene isn't on point. So make sure you've showered and are smelling daisy fresh, brush your hair, try to look as well-kept as possible and maybe bring some extra deodorant or antiperspirant just in case your nerves cause you to sweat.
4. Dress the part
Unlike virtual interviews, you can’t show up with a shirt or blouse and pyjama bottoms (not that we recommend that either). 23% of the people we spoke to said that inappropriate clothing and shoes grated on them.
Since you’ve put in all the hard work to gain your qualification, why not treat yourself to a new interview outfit or two? The smarter and newer you look, the better.
5. Bring your CV and portfolio to your interview
Even if you've already emailed it over, bring it with you to refer to yourself or in case your interviewer has misplaced it or forgotten to print it off. This will not only make you look extremely organised, but it will also impress the 19% of interviewers who said forgetting to bring this would cause a problem.
These are really simple things to consider ahead of your interview but can drastically improve your chances of leaving a positive lasting impression.
Words of encouragement
We encourage all of our students to see interviews as a two-way street. Sure, you want to impress but remember that the interviewers are probably working just as hard to make a good impression on you.
Many people are highly critical of their interview performance and often make a much better impression than they think. And if one interview doesn't pan out, think of it as practice for your next one.
You've put in the hard work, and it will pay off.
Want more free interview tips and advice, as well as tips on how to craft a winning CV? Enrol on our free Job Ready Pack today! Alternatively, if you’re looking to upskill to land that dream job, browse our course range or give our learning advisers a call on 0121 630 3000.