The day of your interview is a big deal and you will need to have spent plenty of time preparing for it.
Setting aside the real substance of a good interview, this article focuses on the small details and tips we see helping many candidates for their big day. Note that not all may apply in certain situations, so best to use your judgement.
1. Shine your shoes
It may sound ridiculous, it may sound vein. But just do it! Whether people will admit it or not, you judge a person by how they dress, and dirty scruffy shoes says a lot about how you hold yourself together.
Paying a small amount of attention to your appearance will convey to your audience that you care about how you project yourself to the world, which means you’ll also care about anything you put your name to in a professional environment.
2. Never sit down in the waiting room
I know you’re gonna do it! You’re gonna look at the comfortable couch in the waiting room, park it there, get your phone out and start swiping or scrolling.
Well stop, just stop! Do you know how hot the average mobile phone gets after 15 minutes of use? Around 37 degrees.
So now two things are going to happen, you’ll be so consumed by the contents in your phone that the interviewer will walk straight to you and the first thing they will see is the top of your head, then you’ll stand up and shake their hand with a sweaty palm! Not a great start.
Stand up straight, relax your shoulders and make an educated guess as to which direction they will be coming from. Be ready to take the first step when you see them, approach at eye level with confidence and greet them.
3. If you’re running late, just go home
If this happens, do you really want us to actually wait for you after you ‘missed the train’ or ‘lost your phone’ or whatever other story you provide?
It’s a basic courtesy that you extend to your interviewer on the big day, I’m here on time because this is important to me. If something has genuinely gone wrong and you can’t make it on time, much better to just run with that and explain why you’re out of action for the whole day, rather than trying to reschedule.
4. Arrive early and let them know
You’ve heard it before and it still rings true. Just be there 15 minutes early. And that’s 15 minutes in the lobby, corridor, cafe or wherever you need to meet them. Don’t get into the area 15 minutes before and underestimate the amount of time it’s going to take to locate yourself properly at the venue, you need time to relax and chill those nerves.
The second you arrive, have either reception let the interviewer communicate your punctuality or email your contact from the company and inform them if you have their details. It will look great and allow you to start relaxing and focus on the interview sooner.
5. Know what to say, when you don’t know what to say
Guys, it’s going to happen, it is impossible to be completely prepared for every possible question that comes your way. There will come a time in any situation when you don’t know the answer to the question. Fine, be prepared for it and embrace it.
Our professional lives are full of days trying to answer important questions, so be ready for that. If you’re posed a question that may require some thought, tell them.
Something like… “Sorry that’s a great question, I’ll just take a second to process that”. Don’t just sit there in silence, this is not a lecture. Interviewers want to see how you will handle awkward situations, so show them you have the maturity to deal with them elegantly and you’ll score huge points.
These hacks alone will not guarantee you blitz the interview and secure the role, however on a day when a million things can go wrong and the minor details determine whether you are successful or not, it’s important to make every move you can to position yourself as best you can.