Avoid being late to your interview. Poor punctuality will affect the interviewer’s first impression of you, so play it safe and aim to arrive five minutes early. Not only will this will ensure you turn up on time, it also shows you to be well-organised, and that you value the job enough to make an effort.
When you do arrive, remember that everything you do outside the interview room is important too. So be polite and friendly to anyone you may meet, whether it’s a director, a potential colleague or the receptionist.
Take Your Portfolio
Keep your portfolio up to date, and take it to your interview. Your portfolio will provide your interviewer with visible proof that you are dedicated to your professional development, and make you look a more valuable and motivated candidate.
The outfit you're wearing can have a big influence on your interview. You want to make a good impression, so you’ll need to look presentable. Regardless of whether you’ll have to work in uniform or if the organisation has a more casual dress code, ensure you look smart at your interview.
Avoid jeans, leggings, trainers or sportswear, and if you’re going to the interview from work and you are wearing your uniform, make sure you explain why.
Switch Off Your Mobile
Ensure your mobile phone does not go off in the interview by turning it off. Knowing it won’t disrupt your interview will put you more at ease, you will also prevent a potentially embarrassing situation with your interviewer.
Consider Your Body Language
Good communication involves how you act, as well as what you say. With this in mind, maintain positive body language throughout the interview – sitting up straight, adopting an open pose and maintaining eye contact. This will show you to be confident and enthusiastic about the role. Try to avoid behaviours that may distract your interviewer, such as slumping, fidgeting, and over-using hand gestures.
Ask About The Work Culture
You should use your interview to find out more about the organisation’s work culture. Occupational therapy is a varied field, and each workplace could be very different. With this in mind, asking certain questions – for example, what a regular workday involves – can give you a greater insight into the position, the organisation, and if it’s the right fit for you.
Finding out more about the work culture is especially important if you are moving in a new area of practice – for example, from A&E to social services. Asking these questions means you will be better informed about making such a change.
Interact With Patients/Service Users
Many interviews for occupational therapy roles involve a tour of the department. These tours can be crucial to showing your worth as a candidate, as they allow you engage with service users and patients. Showing you can interact effectively and communicate in a clear, friendly manner, could help you stand out as a candidate. These skills are vital to OT work, especially in managerial posts.
Be Calm and Collected
An interview is naturally a nerve-wracking situation, so feeling anxious is perfectly normal. The interviewer will be aware of your nerves, and will understand if you need to take a second to breathe and calm down before answering.
Be aware that you may speak more quickly when nervous, and will be harder to understand. If you find yourself rambling or talking too fast, take a deep breath and start again. Again, the interviewer will understand that interviews can be stressful, and won’t mind if you admit to nerves and re-compose yourself.
Many interviewees often answer the question they want, rather than the one the interviewer asked. Avoid falling into this trap by listening carefully throughout. This will not only help you better understand the question, but also provide further information that could improve your answers.
If you didn’t quite hear or understand the question don’t be afraid to tell your interviewer. Keep in mind that they want you to succeed, and won’t mind rephrasing or repeating it if it leads to your best answer. Once you fully comprehend the question, take a moment to gather your thoughts before responding.
Contact Your Allied Health Consultant
At Liquid Healthcare, our specialist allied health consultants have unparalleled knowledge of recruitment practices. They know how to make you stand out at interview, and are more than happy to advise you. So if you want to give an excellent interview and land the job you want, get in touch before the day.