Interview tips for creating the best first impression

Preparation“Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance!” Remember to thoroughly prepare for the interview. Go through the job specification thoroughly so you understand exactly what the role is. Spend some time on the company’s website reading up about their ethos, way of working and other their staff. 

Appearance – First impressions are everything. Consider what you are wearing and how you present yourself overall. This includes personal appearance itself and your clothes, right down to your shoes and accessories – the detail counts here. Don’t wear anything garish – understated and smart is key.

Engage – Interact with interviewers. Your responses and answers should be concise and to the point, don’t labour the point. Answer clearly and professionally. 

Ask questions – have some pre planned questions to ask interviewers about the company, the role and their culture. If you are worried you may be too nervous and forget, jot down some brief bullet points to remind you. Remember – keep any notes brief – you don’t want to have your head down reading, these are simply to jog your memory if you need them.

Team Player – Interviewers want to know that you can work well as a team as well as autonomously. It is incredibly important that you know when to delegate, or ask for help and guidance as well as being able to get on with the job in hand when required. Think of examples when you’ve had to work as a team player, helping out colleagues to get the job done, as well as examples of when you have had to work alone in tricky circumstances and succeeded. 

What would your boss say you can improve on – Trick question – think of examples that you maybe struggled with initially but have since overcome having taken on constructive feedback. Do not list things you do terribly – this will put interviewers off. Try to put a positive spin on any answers

Remember – Even if you think things are going well. Don’t let your guard down and become too casual in the way you speak or the topics you speak about. It is still an interview and from beginning to end, the interviewers are observing your behaviour, personality and attitude.

Relax – Most importantly, try to relax. Don’t let your nerves  get the better of you. Talk through possible questions with the recruiter that you are working with and make sure you are thoroughly prepared. Arrive in plenty of time to give yourself time to get your thoughts together. It’s sometimes useful to check out where you are going before the interview so you don’t get lost or run late.