Before any interview, you must be well-prepared and knowledgeable about the job and the company you’re applying to. We’ve created this short guide with Interview Hints and Tips to help you make a confident first impression during the interview process.
Making a solid first impression in an interview is essential, as it can set the tone for the rest of the conversation. Research shows that interviewers have already started forming an impression about their fit for the role within 30 seconds of meeting someone! By paying attention to your non-verbal cues, such as posture, clothing, and speaking, you can project confidence and make a strong, positive impression on the interviewer.
Before your interview
- Practise answering interview questions with someone else. If you are at school or college, you may be able to arrange a mock interview.
- Review the job description, the critical skills and qualities required, and the application you completed. Be prepared to provide further information about what you said about yourself and what you can do.
- Remember that the interviewer wants to find out what you can offer them — the particular skills and qualities you can bring that set you apart from other applicants.
- But it’s not just about what the employer is looking for — try to think of some insightful questions you could ask, for example, opportunities you may have to develop your role in the company.
Interview tips — on the day
- Take a copy of your application and the job description with a pen and paper. Having this to hand in a smart folder or portfolio leaves a good impression and gives you something to hold during the interview and something to refer to if you have written your questions.
- Try to give complete, honest answers to all questions. It’s OK to take a moment to think through your response, and better to have a considered reply rather than a rushed answer. Ask the interviewer to repeat the question if you need more time to think about your answer.
- Remember, it’s not enough to say you’re good at something – always provide examples that clearly show the skill or personal quality required. This could come from activities at school/college, outside interests, sports, or part-time employment.
- It’s OK to ask questions, and you will often be given an opportunity at the end of the interview. Avoid just asking about your salary and benefits!
Now that you have the knowledge and tools to put your best foot forward in an interview, it’s time to focus on putting it all into practice. Remember, your CV is your first impression and sets the tone for the rest of the interview. For a refresher on CV writing tips, visit our CV Writing Tips page.
Click here to read our CV Writing Tips