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7 Great Interview Tips

23 May 2023

We want you to stand a great chance of getting the job you want, so we thought a few basic tips on handling your next interview would be useful. These will be especially useful for those of you who may be out of practice in the interview world, or those who may have had limited interview exposure.

1.   Preparation

Have a think about the questions that you would ask if you were in the interviewer’s shoes, i.e. what would you want to know about a potential employee. Then, practise how you would respond to those questions. There will always be some common questions you can think of: practising how you would answer even those will help boost your chances.

There are lists of potential interview questions available online and guides to what types of answers the interviewers are hoping for that can give you an advantage when it comes to the interview stage of your application.

To maximise your chances of success, you should find a friend to practise with or consider the possibility of doing some interview coaching with to further improve your chances of being successful in your real world interviews.

2.   Knowledge

Investing some of your time getting to know a bit about the company will make you look keen and interested in the employer. There are many ways this can be done but the easiest is to have a look at their website and other online news stories about them.

Going armed with some facts about the company, their recent achievements or headlines (positive ones!) will really help you stand a good chance. Inserting your knowledge into your discussions, at the appropriate point, will help - especially if you can mention relevant information in the context of the job you are applying for.

Interviewers enjoy hearing from candidates who have clearly done their homework and are showing that they are willing to put in the work required to win their place at the company. One of the things that interviewers find the hardest is dealing with candidates who don’t seem all that interested in the specifics of the company. Looking like you are only applying for the job because you need a job or the salary appeals to you is never a good look in these circumstances.

3.   Presenting yourself

First impressions are key when trying to impress a potential employer. Making sure that you look the part will create an impression of professionalism and this is something that interviewers value. Presenting yourself well can look different depending on whether you present as male or female but the overall advice is to look smart and like you have made an effort. This means that your hair should be brushed or styled and your clothing should be tidy and without creases.

Dressing smartly can look different depending on the job and your personal aesthetic. Some employers still frown on brightly coloured hair and some don’t care at all about such things. If being able to stay true to your own personal brand is important to you in a workplace setting, turning up to the interview smartly dressed but within your own personal style can be a good way to find out if the employer is a good fit on this front.

In terms of personal aesthetics, just because something is considered “alternative”, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it doesn’t belong in the workplace. There are some “CorpGoth” or “Corporate Goth” acceptable style guides on the internet for people who follow this aesthetic and lifestyle while working in corporate jobs.   

4.   Show Interest

Show your interviewer that you are interested in what they have to say by keeping regular eye contact, and by asking them relevant questions during your discussion. This is a great way to establish that you find the job interesting and are keen to work with them.

Most importantly, show you are interested in the job itself by turning up in plenty of time and being prepared with anything they may ask you for, or you think you may need (CV, references or even your passport).

5.   Be Friendly

A friendly attitude and a smile are great ways to give a good impression when you first meet an interviewer. Being able to smile with some genuine warmth and shake their hand will go a long way to making a good first impression in most cases. As nervous as you may be, smiling will make you look less anxious and may make you feel less anxious as well, as you will begin to see the interviewer warm up to you as well.

6.   Ask Questions

Make sure you ask your interviewer relevant questions. There is nothing worse than looking like you're not interested, which is the general impression given if you say you have nothing to ask them.

Prepare and rehearse some questions before you go into the interview: it will be easier than trying to think of some whilst you are there, which can lead to some embarrassing silences!

7.   Finish on a high note

Try to end the meeting with a positive and confident tone. Saying something along the lines of “It's been great to meet you", "Thanks so much for seeing me" or "I look forward to hearing from you soon” will stand you in good stead.

Interviews are never easy, and that is something that it is quite important to remember.  Even if you get thrown off half way through by a tricky question, keep on track by thinking positively. The question may have been put in there to see how you deal with being tripped up. Interviews are, by their very nature, designed to be difficult and you shouldn’t feel bad if an interview didn’t go well.

There will be others and you will have had a chance to reflect on your performance and improve upon it for the next time by practising harder on some of the most common interview questions. Nobody needs to stay bad at job interviews, the more you do, the better you will get at them. 

Stay positive!