Leaving education? Going for an interview? Some points to consider.
"One morning, the eagerly awaited letter arrives on the doormat. You have been selected for an interview! Well Done! Full of excitement and anticipation you make a note in your diary and leave it at that. Right? Wrong! You have a lot of preparation to do before THE DAY."
Some point to consider when going for an interview. Planning is essential.Who will be interviewing you? What questions will you be asked? What do you know about the organisation? What will you wear? Where will the interview be held? How will you get there?
Your letter inviting you for an interview should answer some of these questions but it is important to make a few notes. You need to know whom to ask for when you arrive. You need to be sure that you can get there in good time, so make sure that you plan your route and transport. Do you know which part of the building you should go to, who you must ask for, and what their position is? If you are driving there, do you know where the car park is and how far away from the building that you must go to.
"Check your letter and if needs be, ring up and ask for the department who sent out the letter and ask anything you are not sure about. If nothing else, it breaks the ice and gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself. You now become a person. Not just another name."
"You need to be sure that you can travel to work without any problems so it would be a good idea to do a dummy run beforehand if you can. If travelling by bus, check the bus timetables and any connections. If you live a distance from the organisation, they will want to be sure that you can get to work on time, especially if the job involves odd hours. It certainly would not do, in any case, to arrive late for the interview. It is much better to be self-sufficient and not rely on other people for getting to work.
Have you done some research about the organisation so that you can ask and answer questions?
"What kind of questions will you be asked? You will most certainly be asked why you want to work in the organisation, why you want the job or even what makes you think that you are suited for it. Have this information ready. You may be asked about the organisation, for instance; what they do. Have you researched on the Internet? Do you have some notes ready?" It is far better to have this information to hand when they ask the question.
First impressions count.
It is however not just an interview for the job, but for your future. A good rule is to dress for where you want to go to, what you want to be. Dress to impress is another maxim and very true as first impressions really do count.
Do you need a haircut?
Do this in good time to allow your hair to settle in afterwards. Make sure that you arrange your hair so that you can forget about it and not constantly fiddle with it. If it is long, don't constantly toss it back over your shoulders. Arrange it so that you don't have to do these annoying things and give the interviewer the impression that you would spend more time on your appearance than the job.
What will you wear?
Even if you are going for a manual job, a suit is never out of place. If you don’t have a suit and are unable to get one, a shirt and tie is an absolute must with a smart pair of trousers (male). You could then perhaps get away with a smart casual jacket. For the ladies, a suit is always suitable with a nice blouse—no low-cut tops please! No shirts or blouses with buttons straining and showing skin or underwear. Do your clothes need cleaning/washing/pressing? Get this organised in good time.
Do you need to take anything with you?
Have you got all your Certificates and/or Record of Achievements (School), or CPD Portfolio ready? Keep your certificates - the latest first - in a nice presentation folder or file. Include your Curriculum Vitae (CV). The latest jobs/activities/ schools or colleges first. Do not include your date of birth and never your National Insurance Number. Your prospective employer can work out your age from your application form or CV. Your NI number is your identity and very personal. (If successful the payroll office will need it but it will be secure.) If you have attended courses, have you kept a brief record of them together with what you did, what you learned from the course, and how you will use it? (This is called a Continuing Professional or Personal Development Portfolio (CPD). This not only shows your prospective employer that you have taken control of your own learning and development but that you will help the organisation to grow and develop and be an asset to it. On the day of the interview. Get up bright and early, have a good breakfast and with your head up, shoulders back, and a smile on your face, walk in to the interview with confidence. And come out with the job.