Jobs and Careers Autumn 2017 - 55
interview room. Every one of these
forms part of the overall display. If
you aren't prepared to invest in the
way you display yourself at such
an important meeting, why should
you expect to be successful?
Photography: Getty Images, Shutterstock
Some workplaces are
more informal than
others. Should I adapt
how I dress for the interview?
If I was preparing to attend
an interview, I would go
straight back to the website
for the company concerned - having
already researched it for all the
information I could find on what the
business does - and find the section
about their team. I would scroll
through the photos of the key staff
members and look at what they're
wearing, as those are likely to have
been quite carefully selected images.
That exercise, as part of your overall
research and preparation, will tell you
a lot about what you should be wearing
for the interview. The key for me is to
be within the range of their look - few
companies have a dress code as such,
but they do have a distinctive image.
When you walk into any organisation,
you can tell what that image is.
Is it important how I
dress for an interview
in this day and age?
I personally believe that
presentation ranks very
highly, because first
impressions are hard to change.
Whether you like it or not, people will
judge you on the way you look. And you
have to accept that sometimes that
judgement can go against you. My
question is always, "Why would you
take the risk?"
Everything about you acts like a
shop window. How you look, sound,
present yourself, walk, speak -
even what briefcase or bag you are
carrying when you walk into the
What are the key things
I should think about at
Anyone sitting in the
interviewer's chair is
subconsciously trying to
work out, "Will this person fit in?"
The question you should be
subconsciously asking yourself is,
"How can I demonstrate I will fit in?"
The answer is something that you
may have to convey yourself, because
it's a question that doesn't always come
up as part of the interview.
Put yourself in the interviewer's
position. In their head, they'll be
asking, "When I put this person into
this department, will they be a good
match?" Therefore before you walk
into the interview, you should have
asked and answered these questions:
Have I done my research?
Do I know enough about the
company and their competitors?
Can I demonstrate my ability to
do my work?
Do I look the part?
What have I done that demonstrates
I am competent for the job?
How do I stop feeling so
nervous that I can't
perform in the interview?
Confidence at an interview
comes from knowledge.
If you haven't done your
research - if you haven't studied
the company, or made an effort to
understand the market it operates in
and who the competition is, if you
haven't done a Google search on the
person who's interviewing you - your
Reflect on the
you want to get
confidence is going to be very low.
Conversely the more knowledgeable
you are and the more thoroughly
you've done your research, the more
confident you will feel.
If you combine that detailed
preparation with having thought
carefully about how you will present
yourself and have taken time to reflect
on the key messages you want to get
across during the interview - and on
how these messages match the job
specification as well as what you
believe to be your prospective
employers' expectations - then you
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