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The Before, During and After Guide to Surviving a Job Interview

Job interviews are something that almost everyone has to go through at some point. But this doesn’t make them easy. In fact, without the right planning and preparation, they can feel overwhelming. But, it doesn’t need to be this way. By dedicating time to work on your job interview plan, you can help to turn it into a real success.

It’s important to remember that your job interview doesn’t just start when you walk into the interview room. It includes all the phone calls and emails before and after the interview. It is the time spent waiting for the interview to start. It is the follow up after the interview is over. Don’t fret though, we’ve pulled together our tips for surviving the job interview process:

Before the job interview starts

Spend time researching the company and find out as much as you can; read the company website, look at their social media accounts and see if you can find any recent news stories about them.

At the same time, prepare a portfolio of your work, displaying your main achievements and any work that is relevant to the role you’ve applied for. Create a copy, so

your interviewer can keep it, if they want to look over it again.

The night before the interview, lay out your clothes, ensuring they are all clean and presentable. Also, double check all of your travel plans, to make sure you arrive in plenty of time. Taking these steps will help you feel less rushed and nervous on the day of your interview.

During the job interview

First impressions are important at a job interview. And, the company’s impression of you starts as soon as you walk through the door. Arrive interview ready. This means you should walk into the reception and be ready to start straight away. So, lose any unnecessary clutter, remove headphones and switch your phone to silent before entering the building. Also, remember your basic manners. You never know who in the company will be an influencer in the decision-making process.

When the interview itself starts, offer your interviewer a firm handshake, smile and try to relax. If you are being interviewed by a panel, then remember to look at the person who asked the question when you give your answer. Try, as much as possible, to give examples of your work, showing your strengths and abilities to the interviewers. Also, if you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask them. An interview is a good opportunity to find out more about the job role and the company itself.

After the interview

As you leave the interview room, remember the interview doesn’t really end until you leave the building. Keep any conversation with your interviewers relaxed but formal. Make sure you thank them for their time.

You should try to follow-up within 24 hours with a thank you letter or email. This doesn’t have to be long. But, it will help your interviewer to remember you when it comes down to making the final decision.