We recently wrote an article on how to prepare for an interview, but what comes after your preparation is what really matters. Walking into an interview with an enthusiastic and professional attitude is a must, but unfortunately not quite enough to land the job. If you keep the below in mind when sitting across the table of your interviewer, you might receive that offer you've been waiting for.
The first impression
Making a good first impression is crucial. You may not be the only person your interviewer meets that day, so you want to make yourself stand out and be remembered. Enter the room confidently with a smile and a firm handshake as you are greeted by your interviewer. You may feel nervous, so if that’s the case remember that both your posture and the tone of your voice can give this away. When being seated, ensure you sit upright; relaxed, yet professional.
Understanding and answering questions
If you are unsure what the interviewer is asking you, don't be afraid to ask them to repeat the question or to elaborate. Typical interview questions will involve you talking about your strengths and weaknesses in previous roles, so make sure you prepare some points on this beforehand. By linking your responses with experiences from your previous jobs and education, this will show you have really understood what the interviewer is asking and can relate it back to your CV. Using examples may encourage your interviewer to include unscripted follow up questions, giving the impression of a more comfortable conversation rather than a scripted interrogation.
It is also important that you answer each question in a clear and concise manner and that you keep to the point; some people ramble on about something irrelevant when they are nervous. Sometimes interviewers focus more on the way you answer a question, rather than the actual response.
Eye contact shows confidence
This is old news; eye contact during an interview is essential. When responding to questions your eyeline may drift around the room, or you may avoid eye contact altogether if feeling nervous. To not come across as shy, it is important you frequently make eye contact with your interviewer and act confident (no matter how nervous you are on the inside!).
If anything comes up throughout the interview that you would like the interviewer to elaborate on, but don't get the opportunity ask, make a mental note! You will get a chance to ask questions at the end and having plenty to contribute with shows that you are eager and genuinely interested in the role and the company. Typical end of interview questions include asking for career progression opportunities, and what training opportunities the role may involve.
When the interview comes to an end, express your eagerness for the role you have applied for and remember to thank your interviewer for their time. Leaving the interview in a friendly and enthusiastic manner leaves a good impression so make sure you smile when shaking hands again and wish them a good day. They may inform you that they have other candidates to see and that it may take a few days to get back to you regarding the status of your application, so don’t be disheartened if you don't hear back straight away.
Something we highly recommend is to send an email to the interviewer after the interview to once again thank them for their time. This comes across motivated, professional and thorough - and will make you stand out from the crowd!
At Four Seasons Recruitment we always help you prepare for your interview to make sure you are set up for success. We give you a thorough brief, call you in advance on the day to make sure you are prepped and ready, and always speak with both yourself and the client afterwards for feedback.