First impressions really do count: interviewers are often subconsciously making decisions about you within those first 30 seconds. Ensure you greet the interviewer with a smile, retain eye contact and a firm handshake. This also includes looking presentable, holding good posture and avoiding fiddling with anything from a button on your shirt, to a pen on the table.
Make sure you are prepared: a good place to start is researching the companies website. Employers want to see you have a genuine interest and initial knowledge of the business you are applying for. Going through interview style questions and structuring your own answers will enable you to appear confident & composed. It will eliminate any nasty surprises during the questioning process!
Formulate ‘person selling points’: three solid reasons why you are the best person for the company & why you should be chosen to fill the vacancy as opposed to the other candidates. Each point should be supported by an example which illustrates your capabilities and achievements.
Quit your jibber jabber!: Listen to the question, take a couple of seconds to formulate your answer & respond directly in a few sentences, always keeping your ‘personal selling points’ & examples in mind.
Ask follow up questions: If you feel you don’t have the confidence to think up questions on the spot, prepare some prior to your interview, for example:
“What type of person are you looking for to fill this position?”
“If I were to be accepted for this role, what would my day to day responsibilities be?”
“What would you consider to be the most important aspect of the job?”
Treat your CV as seriously as you would treat an interview: this is your first chance to impress a prospective employer!
Keep your CV up to date: no employer will be interested in a CV that has no evidence of activity within the last year!
Include a short personal statement: don’t just assume the employer will see how your experience relates to the position. Instead, include a short personal statement to project a glimmer of your personality & put across why you are the right person for that job!