Cultural tips for Interview
Interviews in the UK can be in a variety of formats, but success in interview is about making a good impression and articulating examples of your skills and motivation for the job with confidence.
Here are some tips which will help you create the right impression on the employer.
Before the interview
You will need to look professional for the interview so your attire will be important. Generally smart clothing is appropriate e.g. a suit or trousers/skirt/blouse. Ensure your hair is neat and shoes are clean.
Confirm with the employer the date and time of the interview and also the name of the person you will be meeting.
Anticipate interview questions you are likely to be asked and prepare examples to illustrate your skills, knowledge of the organisation/role and industry. At the end of the interview you may be invited to ask some questions, so you need to prepare these.
Punctuality is essential for interviews, so arrive in plenty of time, which will also give you time to relax and mentally prepare for interview. Arriving 10 to 15 minutes before an interview is recommended.
When you arrive at interview
Introduce yourself to the receptionist and state your name and the purpose of your appointment e.g. I have an interview at 3pm, and the name of the person you are there to see. Remember, making an impression starts from the moment you arrive so always be polite and friendly. The interviewer may even ask the receptionist of their impression of you after the interview.
During the interview
Your body language will contribute greatly to the impression you make. In general in the UK it is customary to shake hands with the interviewer who will invite you to sit down. Good eye contact with interviewer(s) will help demonstrate confidence.
Don't understand the question?
If you have difficulties understanding a question then it is acceptable to ask the interviewer to rephrase or restate it. You can also paraphrase the question back to the interviewer to check you have understood what is being asked.
If you are being interviewed by more than one person then you need to direct your answer to the whole panel e.g. by looking at each person in turn.
After the interview
What questions to ask?
At the end of the interview you will get the opportunity to ask your own questions. At this point it is best to avoid asking questions around salary. However, asking questions about the role, the company and development are appropriate.
Following an interview it is acceptable to ask for feedback from the employer. You would ideally do this after you have heard back from the employer with their decision. Whether it is good or bad news, ask for constructive feedback on your performance at interview. Use this feedback to then adapt your next interview to perform better.