5 Steps To Interview Success

over 5 years ago

Handshake 101309b

First impressions are everything and research tells us that you have 7 seconds in which to make a good one. That’s 7 seconds you’ll wish you hadn’t wasted feeling under pressure and wondering whether that ‘bone cruncher’ handshake you gave the interviewer when they collected you from the lobby, was a bit OTT...

  1. Look the part

This is the easiest one in the list and there is absolutely no excuse for an unprofessional image. Now the saying goes “dress not for the job you have, but the one you want” this is great and sometimes a positive image of you actually doing the role you’re going for in your mind when you’re on your way to the interview, can give you that air of confidence that you might be lacking.

  1. Have backup conversation

Be human! You might be nervous but the time you spend travelling up in the lift from the lobby with the interviewer is prime time to make some polite conversation. Remember that you spend more time at work than with your family and friends, interviewers will be looking to see that you’re not a robot and if you get on, you’ll have a competitive edge over candidate number 2 who may have more relevant experience than you.

  1. Relax

It’s quite simple, if you are uptight, you will make an interviewer feel uptight. Fidgeting in your seat and touching your hands/earrings/hair/nose will give an impression of nerves and may make the interviewer feel uneasy. Although nerves are to be expected, you are not on trial and you must avoid any situation where the interviewer walks out of the room and says ‘he/she was good but, he/she couldn’t sit still’. Body language is important and if you struggle with this or know you’ve done it in previous interviews, be conscious of it and stop yourself.  We want, “he/she was great and I really enjoyed hearing about his/hers time at... and he/she answered that question really well”

  1. Believe that you’ve got this

Interviewers want to know that you are confident in your ability, this doesn’t translate as arrogance but of course you will have to adapt your style to suit the organisation. Make eye contact and believe in what you’re saying; if there are gaps in your CV or jobs which look like they haven’t given you the right experience for the role you’re going for, be ready to talk about the positives and address those awkward questions with well thought out answers. Know your own CV backwards and forwards, if you do, you’ll be able to anticipate those questions. We’re all learning constantly and so long as you can put a positive spin on the negatives and show what they taught you, any interviewer’s concerns will be alleviated.

  1. Be interested

What does the company do? Who are its biggest clients? Have they been in the news recently? If they haven’t been in the news, what about the sector that it operates in? These are more examples of preparation that shouldn’t be overlooked; Google is your best friend and can give you an insight that should ignite a genuine interest in the industry (if you don’t already have one). Interviewers often have egos; massage those egos with an awareness of the business. This does NOT mean regurgitating an article from the FT, but could mean that when it gets to the end and you’re asked if you have any questions a simple ‘I read recently about X how has is affected the team that works in X?’

Collectively, small details make one strong and lasting first impression. Use these tips in your next interview and watch your interview style improve and your success rate increase.


By Tabatha Penny