Feeling nervous about an interview? Here are our tips to help you to feel prepared, confident, and improve your chances of success:
Do your research Have a good understanding of the company you’re going in to meet. This doesn’t mean just having a quick read about them on their website homepage. Dig a little deeper so that you understand who their customers are, the size of the company, and the various products and services they may offer. Demonstrating that you have taken the time to understand their business shows enthusiasm.
Practise your answers There’s a good chance you’ll be asked about your career so far; prepare for this. Rehearse a succinct description of your relevant experience. Say it out loud a few times, until you feel confident with it. Think of other questions they might ask you and prepare examples if possible.
Dress to impress It might go without saying, but ensure you are dressed smartly. The first impression will be on how presentable you look, so ensure that you are perceived as professional.
Why would you be good at this job? Take some time to really think about what skills and experience you have that would suit this role, and prepare examples that demonstrate these skills. Stating that you are very organised doesn’t impress in the same way as giving an example of a project you organised successfully.
Improve your greeting It’s been proven that first impressions count; before you even get to the interviewing room, the interviewer will have made certain assumptions of you. Offer to shake hands, smile, and make polite conversation on your way to the room.
Consider your body language Sit up, back straight. Don’t cross your arms; this suggests a defensive posture. Relax your shoulders, but don’t slouch. Maintain eye contact, nod your head and smile. Appear friendly and engaged, but professional.
Listen carefully It’s easy to become distracted when you’re in the interview chair, due to nerves and your mind running ahead. Be sure to listen to the questions you’re being asked, and ensure you answer them clearly. Try not to waffle or go off on a tangent.
Think about your questions in advance Most interviewers will ask you if you have any questions for them. Think about what you might like to know about the role, the company, and the team you’ll be working in. You could even ask: “What’s the best thing about working here?”
Ask if there is anything they’d like you to clarify Ensure you don’t leave them with any doubts as to your suitability for the role. A simple: “Is there anything I haven’t covered that you’d like to know more about?” or “Do you have any doubts about my suitability for this role which I can address?” – this gives you the opportunity to fill in any gaps, and reassure any doubts.
End on a positive note Ask what the next steps will be, do they have many more people to see? Will there be a second interview? And be sure to thank your interviewer for their time in seeing you. You could even wish them a good day ahead.