Hints, tips and help before you get to your interview

What to wear?

It’s important to plan your outfit for the interview in advance, removing any opportunity for a headache on the day trying to organise an outfit and ensuring that it looks smart and professional. As with your CV, an employer will assess their impression of you within a matter of seconds, and you will want it to be a good one.

It can be difficult to determine the correct outfit to wear, as the casual workplace attire trend continues to grow throughout a range of industries. It can be relatively safe to assume that in financial services the dress code in most firms is probably business attire, a suit or ‘smart’.

If you’re invited to an interview and you are unsure you can always ask either your recruitment consultant or prospective employer.

Choosing neutral colours, such as grey, blue or black is generally a professional and safe option, with clean polished shoes or heels that you are comfortable in.

Ultimately, wear something you are comfortable in as it will improve your confidence if you feel good in what you wear.

Preparing your arrival

This may be a seemingly obvious and straightforward aspect of preparation but planning your travel route and how to get to the address needs to be completed well in advance and can provide peace of mind in the event of an unexpected inconvenience. If you don’t know the location, work out the best travel route or mode of transport and give yourself at least an extra 30 to 60 minutes to get there. If you are early, then you can use this time to go over any notes or preparation beforehand or just grab a relaxing hot drink to soothe the pre-interview nerves!

It’s recommended that you arrive early, prepared and knowing where it is you need to go and where to be. You should be sat outside the office and ready for the interview 5 minutes before it starts – don’t go in too soon!

In the interview

The interview starts as soon as you arrive, it is good to consider your body language and how you present yourself alongside your prepared interview answers.

Smiling is always a good place to start when you greet people, alongside eye contact, to show your engaged and listening and helping to form an initial relationship. This is your chance to shine.

Don’t forget the golden rule of always having a firm handshake on arrival! And in the interview, remember your posture, sitting upright and body language is important. Do not slouch and remember to keep eye contact and engage with everyone who is interviewing you when answering questions.

When you leave the interview, thank your interviewer for their time and, if appropriate, shake hands again when departing.