You’ve prepared meticulously for the interview – you know as much as possible about the company, the people you’re meeting, general industry news and you’ve practised like mad… but the actual interview can still be nerve-wracking. Here are some tips for the day of your interview to help you perform to the best of your ability.
- Try to schedule your interview for earlier in the day and in the week – interviewers will hopefully be less flustered and/or tired which should make for a more successful interview.
- Ensure you get plenty of sleep the night before and lay your outfit out if you can. You should have an idea of what to wear from your research or your recruiter.
- If you’re concerned about nerves, there are a few things you can do to mitigate them: Make sure you eat beforehand, but not immediately beforehand; arrive in plenty of time – enough time for a calming walk round the block will help; try to breathe deeply – shallow breaths increase anxiety.
- When you arrive, be sure to be friendly and professional with everyone you meet – security, reception etc. This will help your confidence and demeanour. Also, why wouldn’t you?!
- While you’re waiting in reception or a meeting room, stay standing. This is also good for your confidence and allows you to breathe more deeply. It’s also good to greet someone for the first time on the same level, rather than have to scramble out of a chair.
- When you meet your interviewer(s) make sure you give a firm handshake, smile and keep eye contact (but don’t be creepy, obviously!).
- Sit forward on your chair, back straight, shoulders down.
- Don’t cross your legs – this can affect your breathing and voice.
- Don’t cross your arms as it can seem defensive, and keep your hands visible as this is a sign of trustworthiness.
- Take a notebook and pen with you (and portfolio if relevant).
- Take your time answering questions – it’s okay to pause briefly before giving your answer. If you need to buy some time, you can always start by telling the interviewer they’ve asked a good question!
- Answer questions using specific examples – use the STAR technique if it helps: Explain the Situation, the Task involved, what Action you took, and what the Result
- Be clear about your career goals and answer questions in that context.
- Ask intelligent questions – prepare a few in advance and ask some relevant to this specific conversation.
- At the end of the interview ask whether there’s anything the interviewer(s) would like more information about, if there’s anything they feel you haven’t covered or if they have any concerns. This will give you the opportunity to objection handle.
- If there’s nothing left to cover, express your keenness to progress to the next stage / work for the company and ask what the next steps will be. If you’re comfortable with a more assumptive close, you can mention your availability for follow-up interviews.
- Time for that firm handshake and eye contact again!
- Follow up with an email thanking your interviewer(s) for their time – do this via your recruiter where appropriate.
If you’d like any more advice, call us on 020 7359 8244 or email your recruitment consultant.