City : Interview Stage : Getting Through an Interview

Interview Stage

How to get Through an Interview...


Below we've listed some top tips to help you get through each stage of your interview, from preperation to what to do afterwards!

(There are also some great sites with further interview advice - check out REED,  The Princes Trust, and the National Careers Service.)

  • Getting invited to an interview...

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    You may be invited to an interview via email or telephone:

    • If you're emailed, make sure to send a reply saying that you accept the interview as soon as possible. In your reply confirm the date, time, and location of the interview to make sure there are no mistakes!
    • If you're on the telephone make sure to be polite and double check the date, time, and location with them there and then to avoid having to phone them back.

    You may also be asked via email to access an online system to book in an interview time if the company are interviewing a number of people on the same day. If so, make sure to double check you've confirmed your interview time and write down all of the details!

    information.gif Top Tip: If you can find out who will be interviewing you, this can help you massively when you prepare.

  • Preparing for an interview

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    Research everything you can, about the job, about the company, and about the kind of person they hire.

    • While doing this, the best way to prepare is to think about the kind of questions that you might get asked and how you would answer them.
    • If you know someone who has done that job or works somewhere similar, ask them all about it - they may have some great suggestions. You can also use online forums to see if anyone has some useful advice.
    • The more you practice the better, so ask friends or family to give you a mock interview and ask them to ask some tricky questions so you will be prepared for anything!
  • A week before your interview

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    It's good to plan what you are going to wear a week or more before your interview to make sure that you have smart and appropriate clothes to wear! A suit, smart trousers or a mid-length skirt and a shirt is usually the best option.

    You should also make sure that the suit is clean and ironed and that it fits you well.

     Below we have listed some of the places where you can get a suit in Windsor, Maidenhead and Slough, from lowest price to highest.

    Mens:

    If you'll struggle to afford an interview suit you can contact Mapis who can offer interview and work clothes to those who cannot afford them!

    Womens:

    If you'll struggle to afford interview clothes you can contact us to refer you to Smart Works who can offer interview and work clothes to those who cannot afford them and help you dress to impress.

  • The night before your interview

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    clock.gif  Make sure you have packed a bag with everything that you need:

    • Your preparation notes.
    • A copy of your CV and application (and spares for your interviewer in case they ask for it).
    • A note of your interview location and time.
    • Any cetificates or documentation you have been asked to bring - they may need to take photocopies so don't forget!
    • It's also a good idea to bring some form of ID (passport, provisional or drivers licence, birth certificate...) because they may need to take a copy. (BUT make sure you keep it SAFE)

    It's also a good idea to take:

    • A bottle of water,
    • Tissues,
    • A pen,
    • A note of relevant contact details just incase you are going to be late or there is an emergency.

    clock.gif  Plan your route to the interview and make sure that you have the money that you might need to get there, such as parking change or a bus fare.

    clock.gif  Set an alarm (or two) to make sure that you wake up in plenty of time!

  • Outside the interview room

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    If you have planned well you should arrive at least 15 minutes early - this shows you are good at arriving on time and have planned ahead. You can use any waiting time to take some deep breaths, re-read your CV, application, and notes.

    Remember to be polite to everyone you meet, not just your interviewer but everyone.

    Don't try to prepare anything new at this stage, just think through what you've already prepared and think positively.

    Before you go in, remember to switch off your mobile phone.

    Stay calm - You've got this!

  • During the interview

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    • Smile and shake hands with the interviewer(s).
    • Stay calm throughout and have confidence in yourself and your answers.
    • Answer questions honestly - interviewers are likley to figure out if you are lying and will always find out in the long run.
    • Stay positive when you answer questions, try not to say anything negative.
    • Don't criticise your previous employer or co-workers.
    • Remember to have some questions of your own prepared to ask them.
    • As you leave, thank the interviewer(s) for taking the time to interview you.
  • After the interview

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    As soon as possible after you leave the interview write down how you felt the interview went, what questions you were asked, and what your answers were. This will be really helpful information when preparing for future interviews.

    If you feel worried about the outcome, do something to distract yourself and treat yourself for getting through your interview!

     

    Once you've heard back...

    If the response is a 'yes' then congratulations, well done, and good luck for starting your new job!

    If the response is a 'no' try not to get too disheartened, this happens to everyone, and there will be other opportunities out there for you! You should definitely ask for feedback, as it will be helpful for upcoming interviews. Listen carefully to everything that they say about your performance and try to work on their suggestions and comments. 

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