What is an interview?
An interview is a formal conversation between you and an employer to determine your suitability as an employee. Typically your potential manager and a human resources officer will be present, and the topics covered will include your work history, education, hobbies, skills, work ethic, and how well you fit into a team.
What should I wear to an interview?
First impressions last, so make sure your appearance is impeccable. If you are male, you need to wear a suit, shirt, tie and well polished shoes. You should be clean shaven and your hair should be neat and tidy. If you have long hair it should be tied in a ponytail, although bear in mind some employers may not be willing to hire men with long hair, particularly if the role is customer facing.
If you are female, you should wear formal clothes such as a suit or a skirt and blouse.
Is there anything I can do to prepare for an interview?
Most interviews follow a similar format and ask similar questions so it is possible to be well prepared for nearly any interview.
The following sections explain some of the ways you can prepare for your interview.
Location of the interview
It is important you arrive a few minutes early for your interview. Research the exact location of the employer, and if possible travel to the interview location the night before so you can determine the necessary travel time.
The employer, their products and their services
It is likely you will be asked what you know about the employer, so make sure you have studied their website and researched their products and services before the interview.
Use the Internet to find their recent press releases and search discussion forums (such as boards.ie) to see if you can find any "insider" information on the company which could help you in the interview.
Spend some time studying your CV, and memorise some achievements and challenges from each job in your work history. Think back to why you chose each college course, and be prepared for questions about your hobbies.
Below are a list of some common interview questions. Come up with a positive answer to each question, bearing in mind you are selling yourself to the employer so you need to come across as a knowledgeable and skillful person who will fit into a team and be pleasant to work with.
Even if the employer asks a question which is not listed below, you will be able to use some of your prepared answers to respond accordingly.
What is the purpose of a second interview?
If you are called for a second interview it means you are very close to being offered the job. The interview will typically involve a senior manager, and you may be asked many of the same questions from the first interview.
It is generally considered acceptable to discuss salary in the second interview.
The employer told me I would know by Friday if I got the job. Today is Friday and they have not contacted me yet. What should I do?
Wait until Monday to send the employer a very polite, positive e-mail asking if they have come to decision on who they want to hire.
It is important to remain patient as many employers take their time when hiring staff.
The best way to manage any nervous energy before an interview is to be well prepared, so do put in the effort to study your CV, practice interview questions, research the employer, and check the journey time to the interview.
We will update this article from time to time, so please check back periodically.