You’ve waited ages to get an interview and eventually your day has arrived.
Give a good handshake.
First impressions count.
The first few seconds of your interview can be make or break when it comes to getting the role. And it all starts with a handshake.
Although there’s no shortlist or secret to mastering the perfect shake, general consensus suggests that the best tactic is to mirror your interviewer’s style.
Be confident, offer your hand and don’t rush it. No-one likes the wet-fish-feeling, so squeeze just hard enough for them to know you’re there, but not so hard that their circulation becomes a cause for concern. A few seconds should do it.
If all else fails, remember: interviewer’s always like it firm.
Be aware of your body language
As much as 60% of first impressions are formed by body language. So always think about what you’re doing as much as what you’re actually saying out loud.
Sit up straight, be attentive and don’t fidget. If you have a tendency to move around more when you’re nervous, use a notepad or pen to keep your hands still, and always ensure your legs are planted firmly on the floor.
Remember to smile, keep your arms uncrossed and maintain eye-contact wherever possible.
Take deep breaths
No matter how rehearsed you are with your interview questions and answers, reeling them off a-mile-a-minute is unlikely to impress.
To avoid any indecipherable interview chat, try and take a brief pause for a deep breath before every response.
Not only will this help calm your nerves and keep all embarrassingly garbled interactions to a minimum, it will also allow you a few moments to think about your answers.
It isn’t always necessary to take notes during an interview, but asking if it’s allowed never hurts your chances.
If you are allowed to write things down, it might help you maintain focus and keep your answers on track. You’ll also be able to scribble down any questions you can think of to ask when proceedings come to an end.
Not sure whether you should ask anything? No problem…
Always ask questions
OK, so it’s pretty much non-negotiable.
Think of it like this: If you’re seriously considering spending a chunk of your career with a company, you’ll probably have 101 things you want to know before you start.
What does success look like for this role? What are the chances for progression? What are some of the day-to-day duties for the job?
The more interested you are about the role, the more you help convince your interviewer that you’re the right person to fill it. Asking about next steps is another good tactic, and one which will save you a lot of time sitting by the phone waiting for a response.
Luckily, most of these questions you can prepare for in advance and bring with you.
Say thank you
Finish off your interview as professionally and politely as possible.
Thank the recruiter for their time, wish them well, and you’re done. We also recommend following up with a thank you email, just to help keep you front-of-mind when it comes to decision time.
When the interview is officially over, and you’ve done all you can do, sit back and relax.
You should now know how long it will take to hear back from your interviewer (unless, you know, you skipped step 5), so all that’s left is to celebrate a job interview well done.