Job interviews can be a nerve-raking time, with the pressure sometimes becoming too much, making the interviewee forget their perfectly thought-through answers in an instant.
However, there is one important thing to remember – the employer was impressed enough by your CV or application form to invite you in, so half the battle is already won. The person conducting the interview will understand that the hopeful applicant will be nervous and deep breaths will help calm those nerves.
First impressions always count when it comes to job interviews so the old saying of "dress for the job you want, not the job you have" is always a good thing to remember.
Looking smart is vitally important, as if someone turns up looking scruffy it does not set a good precedent for how they will be turning up if they get the job. A suit never fails to impress and it can always be jazzed up with a colourful shirt to show a little personality.
A good, strong handshake and eye contact show an employer how the person interacts with new people and is also a sign of confidence. Companies want someone who can handle difficult situations and it does not get much worse than the interview to get the job.
When it comes to taking a seat, crossing the arms is a definite no and never slouch in the chair. Sitting up straight looks professional and don't fidget. Keep your hands in your lap if you are worried you'll not be able to control them.
The trickiest part is when it comes to answering the interview questions, but preparation is key. Going through potential questions and answers with friends and families over and over again can help to remember them when the pressure is on, but there is always that one line which can throw even the most confident person.
"What makes you right for this job or could you tell us a little about yourself?" are both nightmare questions, but they need not be. This is the perfect chance to highlight skills and experience that makes you the perfect person for the job. It is a chance to highlight interests and creativity, as well as show off your personality, which will come in handy when it comes to getting the job.
Being honest in an interview will go a long way – people can always be caught out easily by a lie. When asked about weaknesses it is also a chance to highlight ways in which this is being improved.
Don't be nervous if you have gaps in your CV, but be prepared to explain why. Were you caring for family members? Perhaps you took a year off to travel?
At the end of the interview, employers usually ask the interviewee if they have any questions. This is your time to show your research into the job and ask about future career progression.
Enquire about training, it helps show a long-term commitment to the company. Growth plans are something employers are often keen to talk about and shows an interest in what the company does.
When it comes to leaving, manners cost nothing. Thank the employer for taking the time for the interview and say about looking forward to hearing from them – it again shows some confidence.
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