ABC of Job Interviews

Q is for Qualifications
You might need to take evidence of your qualifications with you. It might be possible to get copies of certificates, for instance, if you’ve lost them but it could take a while.

R is for Rivals
The other interviewees are your rivals but, if there’s more than one job, also your potential colleagues. Depending on how the interviews are structured, or whether there are group tasks to perform, you probably won’t meet them. If you do, be polite and reasonably friendly but don’t give them any advice, tips on how to perform tests, or information you’ve discovered about the company.

S is for Sniffing
Apparently we’re all sniffing more! Take a handkerchief or tissues, and if you have a cold, hay fever or similar, see if there’s anything you can take to suppress the symptoms.

T is for Tests
If there are going to be tests before or after the interview, you’ll almost certainly have been informed. It might be possible to practise, depending on what they are. Be prepared for the unexpected, e.g. don’t assume you’ll have the version of software you’re used to, or that you’ll perform the tests in a quiet environment.

U is for Unguardedness
The company probably won’t have a two-way mirror or security camera to observe your every move whilst you’re waiting to be seen but other members of staff might notice if you’re picking your nose, pacing the room, fiddling with your cigarettes or playing online games on your mobile.

V is for Vices
If you smoke, drink or take non-prescription medicine, for instance, think about how they could affect your performance on the day and what the interviewers might think. Will you be more or less jittery? Will your breath or clothes smell?

W is for Waffle
Going on and on and on … and on … is hard for the interviewers to take. They might have seen 6 or 7 other job candidates and are doing their best to stay awake and look interested. Make it easy for them. Keep your answers about your professional development short, ask if they want you to expand a little, and if you forget the original question or lose the gist of the conversation, take that as a hint.

X is for X-ray vision
You haven’t got it, so you don’t know what they are thinking. Their worried expression might be to do with an answer you’ve just given or it might be to do with a personal problem that’s popped into their heads. Yes, be concerned if all the interviewers suddenly looked shocked but generally forget about trying to second-guess their inner most feelings.

Y is for Yawning
Try not to, in case the interviewers think they are boring you. Yawning can result from nerves, tiredness, even a food intolerance … if it’s common for you, see if anything helps, be it caffeine or breathing in a different way.

Z is for Zips
An open zip won’t do you any favours – check the day before that buttons, zips, etc, aren’t broken.