Unless you’re the most skilled and confident person in the world, you could probably use a little extra interview advice if you’ve received that all-important invitation letter. These top tips might just boost your chances of getting the job!
1. Get the right gear
It shouldn’t matter how you look if you’re the right person for the job, but the truth is, first impressions really count. If you don’t have anything smart to wear, go out and buy new clothes or borrow from a friend. Plain dark suits, crisply ironed shirts and shiny shoes tend to work well. Make sure you are well-groomed as well as well-dressed.
2. Study your body language
Put on your interview gear, sit in front of a mirror and look at yourself. Did you sit down gracefully? Is there anything showing that shouldn’t be? Do you look smart? Then think about your body language. Practise making good eye contact and sitting up straight. Make sure you’re not tapping your feet or twitching with your hands. Try out some hand gestures that will make you look engaged and enthusiastic. Don’t forget to smile!
3. Be friendly, but not too friendly
Interviews are formal occasions, even if they have been billed as ‘an informal chat’. Be on your best behaviour from the moment you arrive until your interview is over and you’re well down the street! Be friendly, but recognise that there are boundaries in an interview situation and that you are there to impress a prospective employer, not to make friends.
4. Listen carefully
You may feel nervous and even panicky, but make sure you listen carefully to what your interviewers are saying. Take a moment to process their questions and formulate an answer. Show that you are interested in hearing about the role and organisation rather than just telling them how fab you are.
5. Be concise
Keep your answers as relevant and concise as possible. Try to avoid rambling, which could lead you down an awkward path if you’re prone to oversharing! Try to give brief examples of your skills and experience in practice without spilling your whole life story.
6. Watch your language
Make sure you use clear and positive language, avoiding anything that might sound unprofessional, such as slang or profanity. Try to avoid references to anything that could be perceived as prejudice and leave your political affiliations at the door.
7. Be confident but not arrogant
There’s a fine line here, and it’s key that you present yourself confidently and in a positive light. But make sure you don’t step into arrogance or entitlement. You aren’t guaranteed a job because of your background or credentials, so stick to the facts and avoid anything that could be perceived as boasting.
8. Ask pertinent questions
Candidates often say they have no questions, but if you have a few prepared in advance it’s good to ask as this shows a genuine interest in the role and a dedication to the process. Asking questions may also help you decide whether it’s actually the right job for you.
9. Don’t be desperate!
It’s important that you demonstrate your desire to get the position, but don’t allow any desperation to show. At the end of your interview, thank the panel for the opportunity and say that you look forward to hearing from them. Don’t beg them for the job under any circumstances!