Tip 1: Dress for Success
- Knowing what to wear for a job interview is half the battle.
- Speak to your recruitment consultant about the culture of the company you are interviewing for. Look to mirror that culture in your choice of clothing – err on the side of being more dressier than casual. If it’s a creative client and the staff wear Ugg boots to work we wouldn’t necessarily advocate that you wear yours.
- Don’t wear flashy jewellery. You’ll want the interviewer to pay attention to you, not your bling.
- Don’t wear too much perfume. You never know if your interviewer is allergic and an interview isn’t a good way to find out.
- Don’t wear anything that is too revealing – unless you’re interviewing to be a bikini model.
- Avoid clothing with loud, busy prints. Wear solid colours that flatter your skin tone.
- Don’t overdo your makeup. Wear natural colours and avoid heavy eye shadow, eyeliner and bright coloured lipstick.
- For pants outfits, make sure you wear a belt that matches the colour of your shoes.
Tip 2: The Handshake
- Your handshake (after your appearance) is the second opportunity you will get to create a good impression.
- It’s a physical representation of who you are.
- All too often an interview is blown at the start by a crappy handshake.
- Examples include:
- The Wet Fish gives the impression of disinterest or weakness;
- Tips of the Fingers shows lack of ability to engage;
- The Arm Pump: questions your sincerity and is overly aggressive
- And if you went to the toilet just before you enter the interview – make sure your hands are dry – , there is nothing more disconcerting than shaking a wet hand.
Tip 3: Don’t Be Late
- It stands to reason that you should be on time and never be late for an interview.
- If you are running late, contact your recruiter and they can advise the client for you.
- If you can’t contact your recruiter call the number of the organisation that you were interviewing for and let the receptionist know that you are running late, the reason why (use your better judgement here) and let them know an ETA.
- Don’t leave the “I’m running late!” call to the last minute. It doesn’t looks good.
Tip 4: But Don’t Be Early Either!
- It stands to reason that you shouldn’t be late for an interview. What many people don’t realise is that showing up too early often creates a poor first impression as well.
- Arriving more than 10 minutes early for an interview gives the impression that you have too much time on your hands and might be a tad desperate.
- If you do arrive early occupy yourself elsewhere, in a coffee shop for example before announcing yourself to reception.
Tip 5: Leave a Good Impression with the Receptionist
- The first person you meet when turning up for an interview is the receptionist.
- They have the power to pave your way positively or negatively before you even set eyes on the interviewer.
- If they usher you into the interview, make small talk during the walk from the reception area to the interview room create a good impression.
- When it comes to business support roles don’t assume low rank equals low input. A savvy receptionist is often at the heart of the organisations culture and the interviewer may ask the receptionist’s opinion after you leave.
Tip 6: Body Language
- It is not what you say, but how you say it.
- It’s a fine line between being too comfortable (self-assured) and looking really uncomfortable (insecure).
- Your body language can show if your prone to stress. The interviewer will ask you questions, but your answers won’t only be verbal. They will not only pay attention to what you say, but how you say it!
- Do not fold your arms and lean back or look to the floor
- Sit upright and maintain good eye contact. Use your hands and lean forward when making a point. Let your hands lie loosely on your lap or place them on the armrests of your chair.
- From these positions it’s also easy to support your words with hand gestures.
Tip 7: Its Okay to Be Nervous
- The interviewer (or interviewers) all know what’s it like to be on your side of the table – they’ve all been interviewed before at some point in their career.
- It’s totally okay to tell the interviewers that you are nervous.
- Don’t expect them to go easier on you because of it, but at least it will make you feel better and may help to explain the rash on your neck!
- Don’t forget to breathe
Tip 8: Talking Too Much
- It’s great that you’ve got something to say but know when to shut up!
- There is nothing worse than interviewing someone who rambles
- Answer questions properly – even if you need a few moments’ silence to collect your thoughts.
- If you don’t know the answer to something or if you have a mental blank tell the interviewer-“Ive just had a complete mental blank do you mind if we address this later on in the interview”
- Don’t feel compelled to fill the pregnant pauses. Once you’ve answered the question only add any more information if you feel it enhances your response to the question.
- Repeatedly using filler words such as “like”, “uh” or “um”, makes you look unprofessional and unprepared.
Tip 9: Be Prepared
- The main reason most people suck at interviews is lack of preparation.
- The interviewer is going to ask you more than just the basics about where you worked, and when.
- Don’t be caught off guard. Find out as much as you can about the company, research the job and develop a strategy to stand out in that interview among all the other candidates.
- Prepare for your interview by reviewing what questions to expect, and how to answer them.
- Go through your resume before the interview and refresh your memory about your professional history.
- Be prepared with a list of questions to ask the employer so you’re ready when you asked if you have questions for the interviewer.
- When asked by the interviewer if there is anything you would like to add. Tell them why you are interested in the company and job opportunity.
Tip 10: Prepare for behavioral based questions
- HR in particular love to ask behaviourally based interview questions.
- To be prepared, have a handful of examples ready to use.
- One example could cover many different questions but have a few and choose the most suitable
- Describe the situation but also the outcome, how you got there and why it was a good solution