Of course interviews for different positions vary, but after the many interviews I have had before getting my job, it learned a few tips and tricks to finally reaching success.
Slouching is unattractive on the outside and it doesn’t scream professionalism. Sitting straighter than an ironing board looks unnatural and isn’t comfortable either. The best thing to do is sit straight, but not rigid. Have an engaged posture without coming off too informal. Putting your feet up is a no-no, it’s improper and rude. Using your hands and gesturing suggests you’re well-spoken, but going over the top implies otherwise.
I am one of many suffering with resting bitch face syndrome. My resting face looks like a death stare and most the time I’m not aware of it. An interview is the exact place you should be aware of it. There’s no need for the full Cheshire Cat but a modest smile goes a long way. My current manager actually said one of the first things he noticed was that I was the only candidate to smile when greeted and a first impression can mean everything.
Chat, not waffle
It’s nice for employers to see the colloquial side to a candidate but there’s no need for them to learn your life story. Their job is to get to know the person they could possibly employ as quick as possible, so blabbing on about something that irrelevant that happened 6 years ago isn’t helpful. Small-talk is the easiest bet. It’s engaging without going too far and the interviewer always has the option to continue or terminate the conversation.
That’s when a storm of words come flowing out and you lose total control of the interview. Remain calm and think before you speak. Employers don’t expect an A* exam-level answer to every question. Worrying about what they’re thinking or seeing throws your mind into panic mode. When you worry, it’s very clear. Facial expressions change and the interview could easily pick up on this. The key is to relax, which shows you work well under pressure – even if you don’t.
Be honest, show your personality
As mentioned before, the interviewers want to get to know you in a very short period of time. If they ask what your hobbies are, tell them. During my job interview, my manager asked what I like to do in my spare time: I mentioned I was a blogger, but I also said I make fantastic use of my Netflix subscription rather than giving this lengthy, bogus answer about how I like to develop my Excel skills and practise being on time. Honesty at its finest.
Prep prep prep
I’m someone who organises their day down to the hours. If I have an interview coming up, I plan the moment I wake up, the journey and so forth. I also have a back up plan as you can never rely on public transport for anything. Arriving at an interview late makes a terrible first impression that’s hard to break, so it’s best to arrive way too early than even two minutes late. Pack everything you need the night before and always be prepared for a long day out, even if the interview is meant to be 30 minutes long.
This tip varies for each occupation, but wearing your Victoria’s Secret tracksuit bottoms and Roshes to an office job isn’t the way to go. In some cases, the interview information will include a dress code, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re applying for a formal job, there’s no need to arrive dressed like royalty either. I used Pinterest and Tumblr to really help me decide what to wear. Seeing a few examples for the role I applied for gave me confidence that my outfit was suitable for the occasion.