10 Interview Tips to Make a Good Lasting Impression
If you have put your time to good use during this second lockdown you may well have reskilled and gained an Assessor qualification to add to your portfolio. After all of that hard work, firstly congratulations! Secondly, we want you to know that we are here to help you on your way to climbing that career ladder. Creating a good first impression is one of the most important things when it comes to interviews, so here are some of our top tips on preparing for your interview.
There is nothing worse than turning up to an interview late, in a stress and feeling flushed. You will not perform optimally if your head is all over the place, and to be honest you will spend the entire interview trying to make up for the fact that you were late. On the other hand, don’t arrive too early otherwise you may look too keen! Aim to get to your interview around 10 minutes early to give you time to find your way to the building.
Smile and relax
A bit like when you are answering the telephone, remember to smile during your interview. This is particularly important if the interview is being carried out via Zoom as the interviewer will not be able to read your body language easily. Smiling also means that you will naturally ooze confidence and feel more relaxed during your interview.
Even if your interview is going to be via video call, you still need to dress as if you were going to a physical interview in an office environment. It is really hard to not over-do it though, so if you are unsure of what to wear it may be best to find this out before the interview itself. Smart-casual is always a good middle ground if you aren’t sure. The way you present yourself shows how professional you are, and whether you are someone who pays attention to detail.
Try to relax
Interviews are always going to be unnerving times, but one really great tip we have is to sit up straight and try to relax your body language. If you are relaxed you will be able to express yourself better. Dropping those anxious shoulders will help to release tension that is stored within your body.
Take the time to listen
Remember that your interview is a conversation – you need to be able to listen carefully to the questions you are being asked, as well as answering them. Talking over the top of your interviewer is just rude and will not leave a good lasting impression. Listen and adapt your responses to what you are being asked, rather than answering the question you wish you had been asked.
Wait until it is your turn
Similar to the point above, don’t jump in and answer a question before the interviewer has even had the chance to finish what they are saying. It is completely natural to talk a bit too fast if you are nervous, but moving into the conversation too quickly can make you look unengaged and as if you are wanting to get the interview over and done with.
Manners are important
Just because you are stressed and anxious doesn’t mean that you should forget your manners. If you are offered a glass of water before your interview by the receptionist, take the time to thank them. It isn’t just the interviewer that you are trying to impress, you need to be able to fit in with everyone in the company. You could have all the skills required on paper, but if you don’t show that you are a nice person, your interview will not go well.
Research the company
One of the first questions that you will probably be asked during your interview is ‘tell us about what you know about the company’. If you haven’t spent time carrying out some research in advance you may as well walk out of the interview there and then. Knowing facts about the company will highlight why you want to work for them, and will show that you are interested.
Have examples to support your CV
Your CV will be short and concise, detailing the experience and skills you have which are relevant to the role that you are applying for. The interview is an opportunity to expand upon your CV and back up your skills with examples. There is often a question about problem-solving and working within a team, so think about examples of how you have shown these skills in real-life situations.
Touch on your personal values
It is great having the skills and knowledge for the role, but the idea of an interview is to also get an understanding of you as a person. The interviewer needs to know if you are going to be able to fit in with the team. Of course this doesn’t mean you should start talking politically, but talk about why you are passionate about your career and what this job would mean to you if you were to be successful.
Whatever your ideal job is, hard work and determination always pays off. You have made an excellent start by studying for an extra qualification, and that in itself speaks volumes. Good luck with your interview, whether it is conducted via phone or face-to-face. Just keep smiling and relax, you can only do your best. If you need any more help feel free to drop us an email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve is a Chartered Manager and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
He provides Educational Consultancy to the 19+ sector as well as being an Assessor, IQA, EPA and Digital Marketing Professional. When not doing any of these he finds time, every now and then, to write blogs and articles.