14 Tips On How To Make A Good Impression At Interview

How to make a good impression

Generally, you should:

  • Be well-mannered with any staff that you meet before the interview, secretaries and PA’s are often held in close confidence of their bosses. They are often asked their opinions, it’s important to keep in high regard with them…..
  • Give a confident handshake to your interviewer(s) before and after, try and get a feel for the persons hand, not everybody shakes hands like Schwarzenegger. Not too hard and not too soft, just like a boiled egg, is the way I like to gauge it.
  • Answer questions clearly and concisely, do not babble and don’t necessarily say the first things that come into your head
  • Be as enthusiastic as possible, but not too enthusiastic. It is easy to get carried away and talk about stuff that isn’t relevant. Paul will tell you I am the worst at this!!
  • Avoid talking about any personal problems, although the interviewer may show empathy, it sadly isn’t relevant to the current situation.
  • Display positive body language, speaking clearly, smiling frequently and retaining eye contact.
  • Don’t badmouth any previous employers. This is a big no no, under no circumstances do this, your interviewers may already know that you don’t work for a great employer, however they will also be thinking, if this guy bad mouths his current employers, what might he say about us……It never comes across as very professional.
  • Highlight your best attributes, experiences and achievements, based around the skills that you’ve identified as important to the organisation, and evidencing them with practical examples.
  • Inform your interviewer(s) that you’re available to answer any follow-up questions;
  • Let your personality shine, this is what the interviewer wants to see, that want to see you…..answering the questions confidently is 50% of it, the other 50% is you and how you act.
  • Relax and sit naturally, but without slouching in your chair or leaning on the desk. Sit up straight, just like ypur mum told you too.
  • Ask relevant, thought-provoking questions at appropriate moments, as this can show that you’re genuinely interested in the role and really listening to the interviewer;
  • Show your hands, as this is a sign of honesty;
  • Wear smart attire appropriate to the surroundings. Basically this means if you are going to a social media start up, they would probably not be wearing a smart business suit and vice versa if you are going to a graduate job at a bank, they probably wont be wearing hoodies and a snap back……Do your homework……….

How to: Prepare for an interview

When it comes to an interview, you can never be too prepared…

Whether you’re new to job hunting, or you’re a well-practiced interviewee – thorough research and effective preparation is absolutely essential to guarantee interview success. Attempting to ‘wing it’ will only ever end badly (and/or in awkward silences).

We’ve already covered telephone interview dos and don’ts and video interview tips, but if you’re invited to a face-to-face interview – here are our top tips on how to prepare:

Getting started
First things first, you need to know what to prepare for.

Aside from giving you an insight into the role and organisation, good interview preparation will also give you some all-important confidence. Let’s face it, no-one likes surprises.

But what specific preparation should you carry out? Here are a few key things to cover:

Research the company
Look up your role
Find the address
Pick an outfit
Think of some potential questions your interviewer may ask
Prepare some potential questions you could ask at the end of the interview
101 interview questions you’ll never fear again

The week before the interview

Research the company

Interviewers expect candidates to have a good grasp of what their organisation does – meaning your ability to research effectively is essential.

Consider aspects like: how big the company is, how it’s divided up, who their customers are, and who their main competitors are – as well as any recent developments or plans within the company.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to add value to the conversation, whilst showing a genuine interest in what they do.

Read the job description

When it comes to interview preparation, the job description is your best friend.

Not only will a thorough examination of the duties and required personal qualities help you to understand more about what the role entails – it’ll also help you to recognise exactly what the employer is looking for.

Then, you can tailor your answers accordingly – coming up with tangible examples that prove you’re the best candidate for the role.

What job adverts really mean

Figure out the format

Interviews can take a number of forms – from one-on-one and group interviews, to position-specific tests, role plays, and psychometric questionnaires. And each one will require a different type of preparation.

Often, this will be explained when you’re invited to the interview, but there’s no harm in asking for more information if needed. Researching online to find out how the process has worked for other people in your situation will also help you to figure out what to expect.

Finding out who your interviewer(s) will be and researching their roles within the organisation will additionally help to reduce surprises on the big day. You can look these up on the company website, or try finding them on LinkedIn.

Competency-based interviews: What you need to know

Group interview tasks and activities

Write things down

Unfortunately, you can’t predict every interview question that’ll come up.

So instead of relying solely on memorised answers, prepare an additional list of your most relevant skills, attributes, and work experience. Each question you address will be an opportunity to provide some of this information to the interviewer.

That way, you can get be sure you’ll get your most suitable qualities across – even if the specific questions you were hoping for don’t come up.

What are transferable skills?

The day before the interview
Although you should have the bulk of your preparation done by now – that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to organise the day before.

Here are a few things to do:

Pick your outfit and try it on
Find a map of the location
Do a trial run to check the journey time
Put important information into a folder (e.g. your CV, portfolio, certificates, or any other examples of your work and/or qualifications)
Read and review the research you’ve done
Sorting out all of the above in advance will mean less stress on the day of the interview.

You’ll be sure your outfit fits, you’ll know exactly where you’re going, and with all of your important documents to hand – the interviewer will be able to see you’re prepared.

Even if you don’t end up needing examples of your work – they could turn out to be a great way to demonstrate a point or answer a question.

Pre-interview checklist

The day of the interview
By now, you should feel prepared.

All that’s left to do is get there on time, and put your preparation to good use.

Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time – and if you’re going to be late for any reason, make sure you inform the interviewer as early as possible.

If you’re still feeling nervous – don’t panic. Here’s our guide to help you deal with stress in an interview.

article courtesy of reed.co.uk and can be read here