So you’ve finally gone and done it—you’ve landed that all-important interview for that amazing job you’ve been pining for! But now you’ve the interview to worry about. You don’t want to let your interviewer make up their mind about you before you’ve even had a chance to win them over. But how do you avoid the inevitable traps that could let you down and give off the wrong impression?
Don’t worry— I’ve got you covered with these fail-safe tips and tricks that I’ve gathered throughout my career in the recruitment industry. First of all you need to watch out for…
Things an interviewer will always mark against you:
- Poor personal appearance or poor posture.
- A conceited or boastful demeanor. You should be factual and informative—but don’t be a know-it-all.
- Inability to express thoughts clearly, poor diction, bad grammar, or inability to maintain a conversation.
- Lack of interest and enthusiasm for the company or project. You don’t want to convey a passive or indifferent attitude.
- Lack of confidence and poise. Excessive nervousness or evasive answers are a dead giveaway.
- Condemnation of past assignments or employers. The manger doesn’t want to be the next one on your list!
- Failure to look the interviewer in the eye.
- Lack of preparation for the interview. Not knowing your stuff about the company doesn’t look good!
- Persistent attitude of “What can you do for me?”
Now, for some solutions to…
- Coffee is a stimulant so you’re better off avoiding it if you’re prone to nervousness. Likewise with cigarettes. This will also improve your breath.
- Arrive early for the interview. This way you won’t feel rushed or frazzled.
- You know what they say: ‘Fail to prepare—prepare to fail.’ Do as much prep as you can and check out these 25 Tips to Master the Job Interview.
- If you become nervous before or during the interview, try some simple relaxation techniques— like deep breathing and consciously relaxing your muscles. Think back to tranquil and relaxing moments in your life.
- During the interview, focus on the interview. Don’t worry about your tie being straight, your hair being neat, your collar not being ironed or your shoes not being shined. You can’t change these things now—all you can do is focus on the task at hand. That’s now your best shot to make a good impression.
Maintain eye contact
- Eye contact is very important. It tells the interviewer that you’re paying attention and that you’re interested in what they have to say. If your eyes seem to be wandering, it not only projects a lack of concentration, it may also be construed as a lack of emotional intelligence.
- One way you can improve eye contact is to realize that you have a problem with it. Most people don’t know they have a problem with eye contact. Once the problem is identified, it’s an easy area to improve on.
- Listen intently to what the person is saying. This will automatically draw your gaze to that person.
- If you feel uncomfortable maintaining eye contact, try looking at the person’s nose or at the middle of his/her forehead. The interviewer won’t be able to tell the difference.
- Remember to break your gaze occasionally. Don’t stare!
Avoid long-winded answers
- It may seem like you’re trying to hide a lack of knowledge or even a mistake in your thinking if you respond with an unnecessarily long answer.
- Cover the important points.
- Answer the question completely.
- Practice what you might say. There are some common interview questions you can nearly always anticipate.
- Stay away from anecdotes and stories.
- You can improve this problem with practice. Notice how you interact with people on a day-to-day basis and start there!
This is a problem that can be improved upon if you know that it exists. Once you’re aware of any nervous habits, you can practice eliminating them.
The fact that you’ve taken the time to research how you can do your best in an interview situation already demonstrates that you’re a diligent, motivated and conscientious candidate. So once you’re wary of these potential pitfalls and take on board this advice, I’m sure you’ll have what it takes to impress any interviewer.
Now put your new and improved interview skills to good use—check out our range of exciting opportunities on our Careers Site!