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How to really impress at a job interview

You’ve finally got the call you’ve been waiting for and have been invited to attend an interview. Eeek!
Now it’s time to do your research on the company and prepare your interview questions and answers. There’s a ton of advice out there to help you out but here are some handy dos and don’ts to help you really impress at that important job interview!

  • Thoroughly research the company and the position you’re applying for. You don’t want to arrive not knowing what’s expected of you and who you’re interviewing with
  •  Research common interview questions and practise your answers. A quick Google search will help you find a few useful links to the top 20 interview questions 
  • Dress to impress! You want to make the best impression so make sure you are neatly groomed and dressed appropriately. As Oscar Wilde said “you can never be overdressed or over educated” so grab that suit and shine those shoes so you feel fantastic!
  • Plan your journey to the location beforehand and don’t forget to factor in possible traffic issues, time to find parking etc and plan to arrive 10 minutes early. If something happens and you are running late, be sure to call ahead and let them know why you’re late and how long you’ll be
  • Bring all requested documents with you to the interview, including a copy of your CV, examples of your work and identification (if needed)
  • Turn your phone off or put it on silent and put it away, you don’t want any distractions during the interview
  • Offer a firm handshake when meeting someone and be polite, no-one likes a floppy, weak handshake: show them you mean business. Did you know that according to a studies, hiring managers view job candidates with a firm handshake as more outgoing and capable than those with a weak grip
  • Maintain good eye contact during the interview. This promotes a sense of mutual likability and trustworthiness between you and the person interviewing you. It also shows that you are listening and paying attention
  • Make sure you show genuine enthusiasm about the job and the company. Employers want to know that you actually want to work for them and that you’ll be around for a while. If you aren’t feeling excited about it, this might not be the role for you
  • Offer detailed answers to the questions you’re asked and give examples to back up what you’re saying. You’re there to demonstrate why, out of all of the other applicants, you are the one they should hire, so give as many examples that you can and relate it back to the job role as often as you are able to
  • It’s not the time to be timid, show the employer how hard you’ve worked to research the company, position and the industry with examples. If you’ve done your homework well enough, you’ll have a wealth of facts, figures and information to call upon
  • Prepare a few questions ahead of time to ask the employer at the end of the interview – this shows you’re serious about the position and have a genuine interest in seeing if you’re a good fit for the company
  •  Close the interview by clearly indicating that you want the job and ask about the next steps like when you’re likely to hear back 
  • Get business cards from the employer so you’ll have their contact details to hand. You’ll be able to use these to keep in touch as things progress

  • Sound like a robot by reciting your prepared answers during the interview, find a way to reword your research so that feels natural to talk about
  • Dress too casually. Even if it’s a casual company, it’s still best to dress fairly smart to make the best first impression
  • Arrive smelling bad – if you’re a smoker, make sure you have packed mints, antibacterial hand soap (to help kill the smell) and a fresh smelling fragrance to use. It’s always best to avoid smoking before an interview if you can
  • Be late! If the unexpected does happen, keep the company as updated as you can with an estimated time of arrival, so you don’t disrupt their plans
  • Arrive stressed. Take a moment or two just to breathe and calm down before you go in. Try listening to your favourite song or do a 2-minute breathing meditation to help calm your nerves
  • Slouch, fidget or yawn whilst being interviewed. Your interviewer might think you aren’t interested in the role or that you want to leave 
  • Don’t chew gum or have your phone in your hand during the interview
  • Be negative – you’re there to explain that you want the job and why you’ll be great at it, if you’re negative you’ll put them off
  • Bad mouth your current job - it’s important to remain professional. Yes, you want to leave your current job but if you go in there complaining, they’ll think you’ll do the same with their company too. Keep things professional and related to the role you’ve applied for
  • Lie. It will only catch up with you so it’s better to be honest and tell them if there are certain areas you could use more training in, for example. This shows you recognise your short-comings, but you’re prepared to work on them and develop your skills
  • Be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t understand something
  • Ask your employer any personal questions; keep them professional and related to the company.
  • Seem disinterested in the job - they’ll choose someone else if they don’t believe you want it
  • Bring up salary, benefits or holiday entitlement (unless they offer the information) on your first interview. It’s better to wait until your second interview or until the offer of a job is made
  • Say that you have no questions for them when they ask. If they have done a great job of explaining things thoroughly (and therefore answering your questions) tell them, but try and have at least 2 questions prepared that can’t be easily answered by the usual interview process
  • Call too soon after the interview to find out how you did. It’s great to be enthusiastic but give them time to interview everyone and make a choice. If they say they will be in touch in a certain timeframe, don’t contact before then

Keen to find out even more? Here’s some extra tips on how to land the job!

One of the biggest things the employers are going to look for is that you are not only passionate about the role that you’ve applied for, but that you’re knowledgeable about it and have the certifications to prove it. More people than ever are taking courses to retrain for a new career, upskill for a promotion or simply to update their learning.

Whether you want to work in health and fitness, IT, leisure and tourism, health and social care or education and training, our courses will help you reach your potential and achieve your career goals.
If you’re ready to find out more about these courses and how we can help you enter the career you dream of, view our courses:

Personal Training Counselling Skills Teaching Assistance IT Events Management  

The Training Room | 28/11/2018 12:00:00

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