Paper: How not to stuff up your job interview

Turn off your phone when you enter the building, not outside the interview room door. Put it in your bag and forget about it the whole time you are there. Turn it on after you leave the building.

Consider that your interview has started as soon as you get up in the morning. Everything you do from that moment on is focussed on one thing: don’t stuff up your interview.

Details matter.

Every single detail matters.

Expect to leave the interview drained. If you don’t you didn’t work hard enough.

If you walk around the corner and burst into tears of relief, be pleased that you put everything you had into getting that job.

Once you are out of sight of the building, its cameras and staff you can collapse with whatever legal substance or activity helps you recover.

If you smoke, DO NOT join the office smoking party in cancer corner outside the building: you have no idea who they are and whether you might inadvertently prejudice all the hard work you have done before. Don’t go into the coffee shop or bar nearest the building. Find one, say, 500 metres away.

One last thing on this area: you must be relaxed and able to focus on the task in hand. It is a terrible idea to drive yourself or, worse, ride a motorbike.

Use a train and/or Grab, sit in the back, read your notes to attune yourself to the things you want to say in response to expected questions and the questions you want to ask.

And be early. There’s a saying that being on time is late. There’s good reason for that: you need time to settle yourself before the meeting.

If you are kept waiting, don’t get agitated. Sit back, plant your feet on the floor and breath in and out, slowly and deeply.

Some people like to keep others waiting. It’s an immature power-play and is a sign of weakness that such people feel the need to establish their authority over you in such a juvenile way. So, don’t let it get to you.

Don’t think it means they are especially important. In fact it shows a lack of respect to you and you should think this: if they show me so little respect now, at our first meeting, what will it be like if I work for them?

Of course, there may be legitimate reasons for delay and it would be wrong to assume that all delays are a power play. In fact, I was late arriving this morning because my satnav took me a long way around and added more than ten minutes to a journey that I have made many times before in far less time. Good excuse but not a good reason, I feel.

However, I had planned to be here much more than ten minutes before we started and so I still had ten minutes to spare when I walked into this room which gave me time to prepare.