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Ten Tips to Improve your Interview Technique

20 Dec 2016

You could have the best CV in the world and the most impressive array of projects under your belt, but how you perform on the day of your interview is crucial to landing the job. Follow our top ten tips to improve your interview technique and get it right on interview day…

Ten Tips to improve your Interview Technique

1. Plan ahead

It goes without saying that if you arrive late for your interview that this will not start you off on the best possible path with your interviewers. If you need to have a practice run at getting to your interview location then do this the week before at the same time as your interview is scheduled so you get a feel for how much traffic is on the roads at this time. Make sure you know how to get to the interview room, not necessarily just the office block. Have contact details of your recruiter or interviewer to hand on the day just in case.

2. Dress appropriately

To make the day of your interview go as smoothly as possible, choose your interview outfit carefully the day before and lay it out. This will save you time on the day and get you in the right frame of mind the night before. It is imperative that the attire you choose is suitable and appropriate for the business and position that you are being interviewed for.

3. Adjust your body language

Practice your handshake, standing tall and not slouching. Your body language during the interview will say just as much about you as the words that you speak. Making the right impression is half the battle.

4. Communicate professionally

Whilst it pays to be friendly and confident, both of these qualities can sometimes be overplayed at interview to disastrous effect. Try to be friendly but not overly familiar with your panel and do not confuse confidence with showing-off. Your interviewers will be looking to you to sell yourself but not in a way that comes across as arrogant or aggressive.

5. Listen

You will be asked a lot of questions during your interview and you will also be told a lot of information about the organisation to which you are applying and the role that you are applying for. Make sure you listen carefully so that you are able to answer and ask the right questions. If you need to take notes during the interview, this is fine, it will demonstrate that you are keen.

6. Answer questions fully

As an interviewer there is nothing worse than a candidate who does not answer a question properly because they have not listened. It is fine to get a question wrong but if you miss something out that your interviewer has asked then this could lead to the next candidate getting a better result. Fully illustrate your points with real life experiences you have gained whilst on the job.

7. Prepare your own questions

Simply looking at a company’s website will not demonstrate a huge amount of initiative on your part. If you are serious about the job you need to go to a more granular level and find out what projects the firm have been involved in, what have been their challenges and what do they have coming up in the future. A lot of this information can be found not just on a company’s website but on their social media channels too. Take the time to actively research the current issues affecting the firm. Once you have a good understanding of this, prepare some questions to show that you have thought about these relevant issues in the context of them recruiting for your role. So for example, you might ask “I see that you have a reported annual growth projection of 3% next year, will this lead to more staff and projects in [insert the department in which you are applying]?”.

It is important that you ask just as many questions as your interviewers to get a full picture of what the job will entail.  You’ll want to ask about working hours, what a typical day might look like and, what levels of support and career progression are on offer. See point 9 when it comes to asking about salary.

8. Practice makes perfect

Once you are happy with the questions you would like to ask, have a practice run. Either by yourself or with a friend, take the time to rehearse how you will answer and ask certain questions.  Take a look at our Top 5 Interview Questions to get a head start on what you might be asked.

9. Be careful when discussing salary

Whist salary is very often the number one reason jobseekers look to move to a new position, it isn’t what your potential employer wants to hear is your sole purpose for coming along.  If you raise the subject of remuneration too early it could be damaging to the outcome of your interview. You may find these tips on how to discuss salary at interview useful.

10. Thank your panel

At the end of your interview thank the panel members for their time. If you have not been told, you can ask when they are hoping to make a decision. If you are working with a recruiter then it’s always good to ask them to seek some feedback about your performance too so that you can build on this for the future.

Read more tips on how to improve your interview performance.

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