Anyone who’s applied for that dream job and got through to the interview stage knows how nerve racking the whole experience can be. There are lots of ways to prepare - do your research, arrive on time, and dress appropriately. But what about those interview tips you rarely hear about? Here are a few of the more bizarre pointers that will help lead you to interview success (and hopefully avoid any sticky situations!)
- Don’t go into an interview on an empty stomach. It may seem obscure, but make sure you go into the interview on a full stomach. “I remember interviewing a candidate a few years ago. We shook hands and as I walked around the other side of my desk, all I could hear was her stomach rumbling,” recalls Cameron Richardson, Managing Director at Toughseal. “Every time there was a moment of silence, it seemed to be punctuated by her rumbling tummy! I could tell she was awfully embarrassed,” he says. Taking half an hour to relax, sit down and clear your head before an interview is a great way to ensure you don’t walk into the room stressed and with a million thoughts racing through your head. “And food’s always a great distraction,” jokes Mr. Richardson.
- Pick a time. The best time for you is actually the most suitable time for your interviewer. But here are some basic rules: avoid Monday mornings and Friday afternoons. Try to avoid days that bookend holidays and generally decide on a time that’s not either directly before or after lunch. If the person interviewing generally works a Monday to Friday, 9-5 week, people are usually their most attentive in mid-morning – a positive for both you and the interviewer! A well timed interview might be just the advantage you need to help you get the job.
- Pay close attention to your shoes and fingernails. “Dress appropriately” is perhaps one of the most common pieces of advice for prospective interviewees. But there are some things you want to pay extra close attention to. “I’ve interviewed prospective employees for decades, and the first thing I always look at is their fingernails and shoes. Fashion is about taste and, to be honest, I don’t pretend to know anything about that,” says Richardson. “But having trimmed and clean nails and polished shoes… well, everyone should be able to manage that. For me, it’s always been a telltale sign that someone has a sense of pride in themselves and in what they do,” he says.
- Always send a thank you note after the interview. You want to stand out from the other candidates and in the internet age, what better way of doing that than bucking the digital trend. “It’s always a nice feeling to get an actual, physical, hold-in-your-hand thank you note,” said Johannes Oberholster, Managing Director at Lumiere Cycling. “It reaffirms to the interviewer that you really want the job. I mean, you’ve gone that extra mile. Anyone can scribble off an email in two seconds flat! And, perhaps most importantly, a note won’t get lost in all the digital clutter that fills peoples’ inboxes these days,” he concludes.
If the person interviewing generally works a Monday to Friday, 9-5 week, people are usually their most attentive in mid-morning – a positive for both you and the interviewer! A well timed interview might be just the advantage you need to help you get the job.