Are you just about to leave university? You are just setting out in the job market? You have a number of hurdles to get over before you have the job you have been dreaming of. You find the thought of an interview daunting. You want to make a good impression and succeed!
Creating a good impression at an interview isn’t rocket science. This article will help you face that all important interview with confidence.
Remember most interviewers will have made their minds up in the first 2 minutes. Be on time, look the part and look as if you really want the job.
Think about job and the image you present. It is your opportunity to impress not shock. Be comfortable but dress the part. Nails, hair should be clean and well presented, your shoes shiny, the interviewers should notice you rather than your jewellery or perfume/aftershave.
Smile, you need to show that you are enthusiastic
Think about how you sit, sit back in the seat but don’t sprawl. Think about what you are going to do with your hands.
Make eye contact, it is usual to make the person who asked the question the person of main focus. Remember to scan the panel so everyone feels included. Looking at your hands, the floor or out of the window is a real turn off when you interview someone.
Most interviews start with a question about you…”So tell us a little about yourself.” Prepare the answer so you can feel relaxed. Think about the high lights rather than give a 10-minute ramble.
Watch the interviewers body language. If they are falling asleep it is a bad sign. You can always ask if they would like more information.
Prepare thoroughly, research what the job entails. Consider the skills and knowledge base needed and do a self-audit comparing it with what you have to offer. Enthusiasm and energy can often make up for lack of enthusiasm particularly if you make it obvious that you have done your research and have the potential to learn.
Most interviews are lost because the candidate doesn’t actually listen to the question. Listen carefully; if you don’t understand what they want ask them to repeat the question.
¨ Think about exactly what they are asking – what do they need to know? Is it referring to particular skills, knowledge, principles, understanding, your experience etc.
Use the question as a platform to sell yourself, but be honest. If it is appropriate use the question to give concrete examples of what you have done/can do. Be careful not to become anecdotal you must make a clear connection between the question and your answer.
If you don’t know something it isn’t the end of the world. Interviewers would rather hear, “I don’t know but I’d be really keen to learn,” than discover too late that you have been dishonest.
Finally remember that most people who interview are also anxious, as the success of their business is dependent on appointing the right people. Do your best, be yourself and if you don’t get the job ask for feedback on your interview. In this way the interview becomes part of your professional development and not a failure.