Interview checklist

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This is a checklist to make sure you stay focused before, during and after the interview. Creating a cheat sheet will help you feel more prepared and confident. You shouldn't memorise what's on the sheet or check it off during the interview. You should use your cheat sheet to remind you of key facts. Below are some suggestions for what you should include on it.

In the days before the interview

  • Draw a line down the centre of a piece of paper. On the left side, make a bulleted list of what the employer is looking for based on the job specification. On the right hand side, make a bulleted list of the qualities you possess that fit those requirements.
  • Research the company, the industry and the competition.
  • Prepare your 60-second personal statement: Your answer to the, "Tell me about yourself," question.
  • Write down at least five success stories to answer behavioural interview questions ("Tell me about a time when…" or "Give me an example of a time…").
  • List 10 questions to ask the interviewer about the job, the company and the industry.
  • Get permission from your references to use their names.
  • Before you go to the interview Do you look professional? Check yourself in the mirror; part of your confidence will come from looking your best.
  • Carry these items to the interview: Several copies of your CV on quality paper, a copy of your references,pad of paper on which to take notes (optional), directions to the interview site.

Upon arrival

  • Arrive early - enter the building 10-15 minutes before your appointment.
  • Review your prepared responses to the most commonly asked interview questions.
  • Go to the restroom and check your appearance one last time.
  • Announce yourself to the receptionist in a professional manner.
  • Stand and greet your interviewer with a firm handshake. Smile and make eye contact.

During the interview

  • Try to focus upon the points you have prepared without sounding rehearsed or stiff.
  • Relax and enjoy the conversation.
  • Learn what you can about the company.
  • Ask questions and listen; read between the lines.
  • At the conclusion, thank the interviewer and determine the next steps in the process.
  • Ask for the interviewer's business card and give them yours (if applicable).

Have you any tips or interview success stories to help others who struggle to keep their confidence because of nerves? Do you do something before an interview that has worked for you? Perhaps it will work for someone else, share it with us!