Interview Advice

Body language

Confident body language looks natural and should not be forced. Some people are more extrovert and use large gestures. Some are less expressive. Just be natural…but remember that sitting there like a piece of wood isn’t likely to convey a great impression.

First impressions

  • Smile and make eye contact with the interviewer.
  • Don’t over talk and let them speak – but don’t clam up.

Things to avoid

  • Fiddling with pens or coins in your pocket or with ties or jewellery.
  • Be aware that nervousness often shows in unconscious movements like swaying and wandering feet.
  • Avoid mannerisms such as rubbing your nose, scratching your neck, and looking at documents constantly.
  • Don’t ‘eye dart’ i.e. look only for a second before looking away again.

Appearance

Research shows that we make assumptions about people based on their clothing. In an interview your style of dress and personal grooming can make all the difference. A survey in the US showed 45% of employers indicated appearance as the most influential factor and 42% indicated that their first impression affected the rest of the interview.

Overcoming Nerves

Why do I get nervous before an interview?

Everyone gets nervous, however, some people have learned to use their nervous energy positively. People usually get anxious before an interview because they worry about the following:

  • Making fools of themselves or being ineffective.
  • Drying up and forgetting their words.
  • Being challenged by a more knowledgeable person.
  • Not being able to answer a question.
  • Looking nervous e.g shaking hands, sweating, trembling voice.
  • Not being perfect e.g mispronunciation/
  • dropping something.

What techniques can I use to overcome nerves?

  • Mentally rehearse the interview – picture yourself at the meeting.
  • Think about the questions you will be asked and work out the best responses.
  • Look professional – dress the part, be well groomed and tidy… and picture yourself in the job.
  • Make sure your documentation is in order. Have your resume with you and any supporting documents (originals). A photocopy with the original documents is a nice touch.
  • Don’t smoke and avoid alcohol prior to the interview.
  • Be prepared to complete an application form.
  • Arrive early so you can settle in – but don’t go in until just before the time for the interview.
  • Breathe deeply as you walk into the building – when people feel nervous their breathing is generally too shallow.
  • SMILE, be ready to shake hands with the interviewer and introduce yourself confidently.
  • Don’t be too informal – but don’t be too formal – and try and act naturally.
  • Answer all questions honestly and openly.
  • Don’t just answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’, elaborate as necessary without overdoing it.
  • Listen well and show an interest in the job.
  • Don’t forget to ask questions yourself when appropriate.
  • Thank the interviewer for their time at the end.