2012/05/02

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An interview is your time to shine and show the employer exactly why they should hire you. But interviews can be daunting so in order to perform to the best of your ability on the day, here are some tips on what you can do before, during and after the interview, in order to make the best impression.

 

Before the interview:

Prepare your portfolio and CV

Make sure your portfolio and CV are presentable, up to date, and most importantly, relevant to the position you are interviewing for. Print out a few copies of your CV to hand out in the interview. It’s likely the interviewer will already have a copy of your CV in front of them, but you will look well prepared if you are able to offer them a fresh new copy. It’s also useful to have a copy of your CV for yourself so you can refer to it during the interview.  If you have an online portfolio then check to make sure all the links still work. Also, don’t forget to bring a pen and notepad. This can be used to make notes of important information during the interview, and you can also prepare a few questions to ask prior to the interview and have them written down in case you forget.

Prepare your appearance

This is another important aspect that a lot of people tend to neglect. Unless you get specific instructions not to get dressed up, you should always aim to look as presentable as possible. The way you look says a lot about your character. If you turn up to the interview looking smart and well-groomed then it shows that you are professional and you are taking the interview and the job seriously.

Prepare by doing research about the company

Have a look at the company’s website. You want to have a general idea of what the company is about, their vision, goals, etc. The interviewer wants to know if you will fit within their company as well as whether you fit the job criteria. So by knowing exactly what they do and other details will help you sell yourself better, and will impress the employer and show them that you take initiative and you have an interest in the company.

 

During the interview:

Be Punctual

Please don’t be late to the interview. Find out how long it takes to get there (Try entering the clients postcode into Google maps). Prepare for traffic and make sure you arrive a few minutes early, but not too early!

Be Polite

During the interview, be as polite as possible. Greet the interviewer by their name, shake hands firmly, and make eye contact and smile.  It is likely they will ask you about your past jobs and experiences. If you had a bad experience, don’t criticise your old boss or company. If you have nothing good to say about them, just don’t say it.

Pay Attention

Lots of topics will be covered and discussed during the interview such as design systems, trends etc. Make sure that you pay attention so the interviewer won’t have to repeat themselves (Now might be a good time to make use of that notepad you brought with you). Also, ask some questions about the position and the company. Asking good and pertinent questions is a good sign to show them that you are trying to learn more and that you are paying attention.

Be Passionate

Be passionate during your job interview. This should be a given but sometimes you are focussing so much on giving good answers that your genuine passion for the job can get lost. Let them see your passion by speaking positively and confidently. If you are passionate, they can sense that and they will take note.

When they ask you a question about design or development, don’t give them a generic answer.  Provide them with a well thought out answer that expresses your passion for the job and company and that you want to learn and develop within the role.

Promote yourself

An interview is the time to really sell yourself to the company and show them why you are fit for the job. There are some common questions that tend to crop up in most interviews such as "Why should we hire you for this job?” or “What sets you apart from everyone else?" Be ready for questions like these and be genuine in your answers. Don’t lie, but if you are really good at a certain area then focus on that. Let them know how you can benefit their company and what you can do to help them. How you present yourself also includes body language. Try to relax, smile and appear positive and confident. Eye contact is very important - looking at the interviewer shows that you are attentive and a good listener.  For more information on body language in an interview, please read our body language blog.

 

After the Interview:

So you’ve made it home from the interview. Everything went well, you were prepared, you got there on time, you were passionate, you paid attention, you were polite, you promoted yourself and they liked your portfolio. Now there is one last thing you can do. Get on your computer and write a brief email to the recruitment consultant and thank them for interviewing you and for telling you more about the company. Every little thing counts, and if the other people they interviewed had very similar skills to you then, it is little things like this that can help set you apart from the others.

 
 

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