Great, so you’ve been invited to an interview. This means you probably look good on paper - now you just need to impress in person.
Interviews are like everything else in life, the key is in the preparation. Here are our tips on how to impress in an interview and nail the job on the day.
- Swot up on the company before you go. Check out their website and any marketing materials you can get hold of before the interview. Showing an active interest in the company shows you’re serious about working for them.
- Before you go in think about some questions you could get asked and have a good answer prepared. If you’re stuck for ideas check out our list of common interview questions.
- TURN UP! If for any reason you aren't able to attend the interview - let the employer know with as much notice as you can give them. Not turning up on the day without letting anyone know is not just plain rude but also damages the impression that employers have of graduates.
- Dress to impress. Suit up that is, not dress up. Whatever the company’s dress policy, most employers will still expect candidates to dress smartly for the interview.
- Turn up on time. First impressions are crucial, arrive a few minutes early to give yourself time to chill before the interview and if you’re travelling somewhere unknown try to do a mock run first so you know exactly where you’re going.
- Make the right first impression. When you greet the employer act confidently, make eye contact, shake hands and don’t forget, a smile can make all the difference!
- If you’re offered a glass of water say yes! If you refuse you’re bound to regret it half way through and when difficult questions come up it’s a great way to buy some time between answering.
- Listen to the questions. Make sure you answer the question you were asked and if you don't understand a question during the interview, ask the interviewer to rephrase it, don't just ramble on regardless.
- If any of the questions are a bit tough don’t worry about pausing before answering. An employer will be more impressed by a well thought out considered response then a rushed and hasty one.
- Not sure where to look? Making eye contact is important as it shows you’re a confident communicator. Look at the interviewer and if there’s more than one the general rule is to look mostly at the one who asked the question, whilst glancing at the others.
- Make sure you have a few good questions to ask the employer at the end of the interview and try not to ask about the salary or benefits package – there’ll be chance to do that later if you’re offered the job. Asking about the working culture, training and possible career development shows you’re taking a genuine interest in the role.
- Be yourself. To impress the interviewer you’re going to have to be positive and enthusiastic but it’s also important to show them who you are. If you put on an act at an interview you'll struggle to keep it up and if they don’t think your personality matches the role it may not be for you after all.
- Make sure you leave a lasting impression. When you leave thank the employer for taking the time to see you, shake hands again and smile!