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How to Impress at Interview

A face-to-face interview is your time to make a great first impression.

It’s a tough journey securing an interview; but the challenge has only just begun.

Follow our step-by-step guide on how to impress at interview.

Step 1 – Prepare

Now is the time to take the pressure off your future self. You have days ahead of you to prepare. But how do you prepare to impress at interview?

Do your research. You are bound to be asked what you know about the company itself. Find out who they are and what they do, including their culture and history. You can find all this information online; whether it’s on their website, social media, news articles or LinkedIn. Also, make sure you know what the job you are applying for is exactly.

Study your CV. You should be able to refer to your CV without having it out in the interview. It never hurts to have a quick look over it to make sure you are completely familiar with your past roles.

Plan your journey. Figure out where you go for the interview and how you are going to get there. Are you driving or using public transport? Consider how long the journey will take and decide what time you need to leave. Good preparation is key to staying calm.

Organise your outfit. Appearances shouldn't matter, but the fact is you are often judged before you even utter a word.  Instead of worrying about your choice of clothing on the day, plan what you are going to wear beforehand to impress at interview. All interviews require formal wear. No jeans or trainers, and don’t go overboard with jewellery, perfume and bright colours. Double check the outfit fits, is polished and is clean and properly ironed to ensure you look smart.

Step 2 - Practise

Now you need to prepare for the actual interview. One easy way to do this is to practise your answers to common interview questions. If you are unsure what they may ask you, read Glassdoor’s 50 Common Interview Questions for inspiration.

Do you know the company’s interview style? Whether it’s a one-on-one, group interview or panel interview you should know what to be prepared for.

Think of some questions to ask the interviewer. Although you are the one being interviewed, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions at the end of the interview. Prepare a couple of questions to demonstrate you are interested in the company and job role.

If possible, get a friend or family member to act as the interviewer. The role play can help you practise how to impress at interview.

Step 3 – Prove Yourself

The big day has arrived, and you have done everything to best prepare you for the interview. Now it is time to prove yourself to the employers. First impressions can be tough and studies have found you have less than 7 minutes to impress the interviewer.

Show up early. Leave ahead of time and get there 10-15 minutes early. Not only does this show you are eager to join the company, it also helps you remain calm. Even if there are delay issues, you can be safe in the knowledge you will be on time.

Greet the interviewer(s) with a firm handshake, eye contact and a smile. Having positive body language goes a long way towards proving you’re a confident person with the right attitude. Keep up the non-verbal communication throughout the interview. Try not to fidget! However, interviewers don’t want to see a robot. Relax, laugh and don’t worry about hesitating to answer questions.

Note down important points. Show you are interested in what the interviewer is saying by jotting down pieces of information they give about the company or the job role.

Remember to ask the questions you prepared and finally, thank the interviewer for their time.

How to Impress at Interview Guide

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