Succeed in the workplace
Succeed in the workplace

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4.2 Practical planning

Photo of hands holding a compass.
Figure 4 Planning

In preparing for your interview it’s important that you consider the following practical aspects.

Plan your journey

If it is to somewhere you don’t know well, try to do a dummy run. Check the times of public transport, if you need to and aim to arrive at least ten minutes early. Take spare money in case you need to take a taxi or bus unexpectedly. Carry a town map or note down the organisation’s postcode and address in case your planned route is diverted.

Decide what to wear

Think about the style and culture of the organisation and dress in a way which respects it. If in doubt, dress more formally than less. Even in less formal organisations, people sometimes dress more formally for interviews. Ideally, try out the whole outfit well before the interview. You want to be able to relax and focus on the interview task, rather than worrying about how you look.

Sort out what to take with you

Try not to take too much. You should only need your application, the job information and any notes you have made, as well as anything you have been asked to bring with you. Make sure before the day that you have everything to hand.

If you have been asked to make a presentation, take a copy on a memory stick. Even if you were asked to email it beforehand, it is reassuring to have a back-up. Take paper copies of your presentation. Giving the interview panel copies of the slides will help them to remember you once you have left the room.

Much of this guidance assumes that you are having a first interview for a job, face-to-face and in a specific place. This won’t always be true, of course, so in the next section you’ll consider some aspects of preparation for particular situations.

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