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5 Tips to Impress at an Interview

Updated on June 7, 2013
Give employers the right impression so you are hired after your interview.
Give employers the right impression so you are hired after your interview. | Source

Part of the process of getting a job is going through an interview. This is the part where many people stumble for a few reasons; the most common is not researching the company that you have the interview for. You need to remember that this is the first chance that the employer will have of meeting you and first impressions always last.

If the potential employer doesn’t like you at this meeting, you can say goodbye to the job – there will be someone else he likes more. The good news is that you can go in there armed with this knowledge to make sure you are the favourite of the lot.

Here are some top tips in impressing and doing well so you are offered the position.

Dress to Impress

While the company may operate a casual clothes policy, you need to remember that you are trying to impress your potential new boss. Make sure you buy a suit, if you do not already have one, and have a shirt ironed ready for the day. Polish your shoes and, if you wear one, have your tie ready and learn how to tie it properly.

Dressing smart for your interview shows that this is important to you. It makes it clear that you want the role and will make the company look good in your appearance. The first look is always on a potential boss’ mind and could be the difference between landing the role and being the second choice.

Specifically for women, if you decide to wear a skirt suit, make sure the skirt is no more than a couple of inches above your knees. Your shirt should fit over your chest comfortably and button it so you are dressed conservatively! You could opt for one of the smart dresses and matching blazers available from most department stores. This will avoid the risky shirt!

Research the Company

This is not about what the company will do for you; it is all about how you will benefit the company. You will need to demonstrate how your skills will work well for the company and that means researching into the company. As well as knowing about the role that you will do, you need to know the products that the company sells or the services it offers. Also look into any investors that the company has or other businesses that it works with.

There are likely to be questions about the company and how you will benefit it. Researching shows that you are interested in more than just the pay or having a good job. It shows that you want to help the business grow and that you will work in the best interest for the company.

Convince the interviewer you're the best for the job
Convince the interviewer you're the best for the job | Source

Be Confident and Show Off Your Skills

Answer questions with confidence but not so much confidence that you sound arrogant. Employers are looking for people who know that they can do the job and do it well. You will also need to look confident, which means working on your body language. Always look the interviewer in the eye and sit up straight.

It can be difficult to leave your nerves at the door so imagine that you are talking to a friend. It may be an idea to practise with a friend so that you are ready for questions that you will be asked. This will help you calm your nerves so you can talk clearly and confidently to show that you are the perfect fit for the business.

Don’t be afraid to show off your skills. If you did something at your old place of work that will benefit the business then share information about it. If you have a degree that hasn’t been asked for but you will know will help, tell the interviewer along with how that helps them. However, there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance – make sure you’re on the right side of it!

Have a Copy of Your Resume

It is likely that you will be asked questions about things that you have put on your resume, so make sure you have a copy of it. Read through it before you go into the interview to refresh yourself of the dates that you put down and the skills that you posses. You will also need to refresh your memory of details about previous roles.

A copy of your resume shows that you are prepared too and you will know the areas that you want to expand on. This will also serve as a reminder of the skills and how they help the company. Feel free to make notes on this copy to prepare.

Know when to talk and when not to.
Know when to talk and when not to. | Source

Avoid Talking Too Much or Too Little

There is a middle ground with answering questions. You should not give one word answers and you should not give an essay on your life. There are times that you will have more to say in answer to a question but just give the main points. You can always finish with stating that you could expand on your answer if that is in the interest of the interviewer – it is likely that he or she will have heard enough and want to move on.

Avoid trying to waffle your way around a question. Answer it directly and honestly. If you find that you do not know the answer – and some questions are designed specifically for this reason – then simply state that. If you are unsure of the question, you can always ask the interviewer to repeat or rephrase it in a way that you do understand.

Take your time answering questions and take a deep breath before you go in. You will need to remain calm, even if things seem to be going badly.

The Dos and Don'ts of Interviewing

Make Sure Your Phone Is Turned Off

I know the title says five, but this is really important!

This sounds like an obvious statement but you will be surprised by how many people forget to do it. Do not put your phone on vibrate; turn it off completely. There is nothing more important that the next hour or so of your life. The same applies to pagers and watches that have an alarm on. If you are worried about anything making a noise, leave it in the car if you must.

These are distractions and the potential employer. If you have your phone going off in the middle of the interview, what will you do when in the workplace?

The above tips are designed to help you succeed in your interviews so follow the closely. It could be the difference between being getting the job, being called back again or getting a straight rejection. Remember that you only get one chance to make a first impression and you want that to be a good one!

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