Acknowledge the letter and confirm the date (by phone, or email). Enter it in your diary.
Check the location. Interviews are sometimes conducted away from a main site.
Review the advert and requirements of the employer.
Research the organisation. Look at their website, read their literature, obtain their annual report for policy, strategy etc. Find out about the culture - talk to employees if possible.
Prepare questions to ask and answers to the interviewer's questions.
Consider what you will wear. Dress appropriately (e.g. suit).
Put in your bag extra CV's, writing materials, diary and references for possible use during the interview.
Visualise yourself at the interview. Think about meeting the person or panel and creating an impression through handshake, eye contact and confident body language.
Consider the appropriate "psychological posture". This means positive attitude, active listening, assessing the meaning behind the interviewer's words, creating a rapport and presenting yourself as someone familiar with the role.
Prepare an answer to the common question "Tell me about yourself". The answer to this question should not take more than three minutes. Like your CV, it is of particular value in establishing the agenda for this conversation. It should include three elements:
Your background (work area, functions)
What you have to offer (knowledge, capabilities, qualities)
Your objective (what you are looking for in your next job).
You may wish to begin by writing out your reply: aim for 500 words. As with the CV, try to include plenty of action words to increase the impression of you as a competent person. For example, when you make a statement such as, "I began my career working for..." follow it by its implication, e.g. "I was able to gain a great deal of knowledge of the computer industry and learnt how to use the 'whatever' system". Then say what relevance this is to the current company e.g. "I now feel confident to deal with any problems or issues concerned with that system".
- Try to the end your three-minute answer with a statement about what you are looking for in your next job and your career objective. You might say "And that is why I am here, so tell me, what kind of person are you looking for?" In other words, make it a two-way conversation; tell them what they want to know about you and ask them what you want to know about them.