How to impress at your next job interview III

So you've made it past the initial application stage and you've been successful in gaining an interview! What now? In our series of "How to impress at your next job interview" posts we have some advice to help you make sure you put your best foot forward and nail that interview for your dream job!!


Last week we discussed the preparation that you need to put in just prior to the interview (see post here). The previous week we discussed the preparation that you need to undertake earlier than your interview day (see post here). For the next post in our series, we have some tips to help you DURING your interview!!


How to conduct yourself

Firstly you want to try to be as relaxed as possible. Easier said than done I know, BUT you can help yourself by ensuring you are at the interview early enough to sit calmly and take some deep slow breaths. It helps to remember that they have called you in for an interview as they are very interested (or they wouldn't be wasting their time). NB: on the flip side of this coin, don't be too cocky or full of yourself either - it is an instant turnoff! You are aiming to be calm and clear - if you are panicky you can't think to respond properly!


What you should and shouldn't say

In the interview you don't want to do all of the talking! Likewise you don't want to use single word answers. It is best to think about the shortest but most detailed response you can give! Where you can, give examples of how you have achieved results that demonstrate competencies in line with the position requirements of the job you are interviewing for!


REMAIN POSITIVE! No employer likes to hear you bad mouthing your previous employer or colleagues. They don't want to hear you complaining about issues or difficulties in your past; when you're in an interview people want to hear how you can be a solution!


BE HONEST don't overstate your experience or lie about qualifications, you willget found out1 I remember once working with a lady who said she had a university degree, but once she was in the role it was obvious she couldn't cope; upon further investigation she had quit after only completing 1 year of a 3 year degree.


Find out about the existing team, you want to be able to demonstrate how you would fit into the team dynamics. You also want to find out how the job role contributes to the operation and success of the business - it will help you to know the hierarchy and work flow and understand just how you will contribute and fit in; it will also help the interviewer if you can demonstrate to them that you understand the structure and how you would fit in.


Completing the interview

At the end of the interview you want to ensure that there are a couple of key questions you ask:


  1. ask if there is anything further they want to know about you,
  2. ask if you are what they are looking for! and finally,
  3. ask when they will be making a decision!


Although it could make you slightly uncomfortable to ask such direct questions, it will be well regarded by the interviewer - it shows you are interested and keen; it will also help you as you will be able to better gauge how you are faring in the running! Showing a little bit of confidence in this area goes a long way to making yourself memorable to the interviewer too, you'd be surprised how many people do NOT take this initiative.


Some final tips


  • Don't smoke - even before your interview, it can be smelt by non-smokers!
  • politely decline the first offer of a tea or coffee, it can get in the way, BUT if the interviewer insists or says they will be having one it would be better to then accept.
  • don't be too passive, asking questions and being curious demonstrates your interest (see next week's post about questions to ask!), and finally
  • make sure the employer knows the benefits of employing you!


Next week we'll cover the sorts of questions you want to ask and the following post with cover the types of questions you should be prepared to answer.


We'd love to hear how you go at your next interview - did these tips help you nail the job? Let us know if you have any questions as we'd love to help!

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