So you’ve managed to bag yourself an interview for your dream job. You’ve got all the right skills and experience. That’s enough, right?
Not necessarily. A huge amount depends on the impression you make in your interview.
A job interview is an opportunity to sell yourself to potential employers. It’s a chance to let your personality shine through and prove you’re the best person for the job.
Give yourself a head start with these ten ways to impress an interviewer.
Dress to impress
First impressions are everything. You have just seven seconds to make a good one.
One way to make sure you come across well is by dressing the right way.
Research the company’s dress code in advance. If you’re going for a managerial position, always wear a suit. For less senior positions smart casual attire may be appropriate. If in doubt, too smart is better than not smart enough!
Don’t forget shoes and accessories – tatty shoes or a scruffy handbag could let down an otherwise perfect outfit.
Make sure hair and facial hair are neat and well-groomed. If you wear makeup, keep it neutral.
Preparation is everything
Research the company thoroughly before your interview. Don’t just read the company website – follow the company on social media and search for recent news articles relating to it.
Find out about the company’s mission, values and culture, and what skills it looks for in its employees. The greater your knowledge of the company, the better equipped you’ll be to answer questions about it.
If it’s obvious you’ve done your research, the interviewer will know you’re serious about the job.
Don't have a long time to prepare? Check out our guide to last-minute interviews.
Turn up early
Don’t arrive exactly on time – aim to be around ten or fifteen minutes early. This shows good time management skills and respect.
Give yourself much more time than you need to get to the interview in case of delays. If you arrive very early, find a nearby café to sit in until it’s time to go in.
Giving yourself plenty of time will mean your journey is relaxed and stress-free, so you won’t arrive flustered or out of breath.
Hone your body language
The right body language goes a long way in conveying your personality, and can leave a lasting impression on an interviewer.
A good handshake is essential. Don’t offer a limp or sweaty hand. Keep it firm and confident – but not too firm! Crushing the interviewer’s hand is not a good idea.
Make eye contact. This shows you’re engaged and interested.
Sit up straight and don’t fidget – you’ll appear self-assured and calm.
Put any belongings on the floor beside you. If you hold on to them you may be tempted to fiddle with them, which can be distracting for an interviewer.
Be enthusiastic and friendly
Remember to smile! This is one of the easiest – yet most often forgotten – ways to impress an interviewer.
Show your enthusiasm for the company and the job by speaking with optimism, engagement and animation. Remember, you’re trying to convince the interviewer you want the job more than anyone else – so act like it!
Always talk about your past experiences in a positive light.
Never complain about previous employers or co-workers – the company won’t be keen to hire someone with a negative attitude.
Tell a story about yourself
Don’t fire off predictable answers to questions – the interviewer will have heard it all before. Think of several anecdotes about yourself that demonstrate your specific experience.
Try to include details that convey your personality as well as your skills. Remember, the interviewer is trying to get to know YOU, not just your CV.
Interesting stories will leave a lasting impression, so prepare yours carefully.
Make yourself memorable
You’ll be competing against a host of candidates, so if you can find an appropriate way to stand out, you may jump to the head of the pack.
If the interviewer asks how you are, don’t just say ‘fine’ – try to say something amusing or creative. Subtle quirks like this will make you more memorable than your competitors.
Leave behind a printout of your CV or a work sample. This will give the interviewer a physical reminder of you after you’ve left.
Ask the right questions
Interviewers like it when candidates ask thoughtful, searching questions about what the position entails and the company’s goals.
Prepare a few in advance so you’re ready when the interviewer asks you – this is your chance to show you’re genuinely interested.
Ask for the job
It may sound obvious, but make it clear you want the job!
Follow our ten ways to impress an interviewer and you’ll be well on the way to interview success – good luck!
If you'd like more information on how to impress an interviewer, or would like a professionally written CV, get in touch today.
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