Be confident! Part Two – DURING the interview


Here are some top confidence tips to not let nerves get the better of you in the interview:

  • Firm handshake.  You have probably heard this a million times and may need to practice beforehand. Do not crush the interviewer’s hand but also do not offer them a wet lettuce of  a handshake. (Make sure you wipe any clamminess off on the way in!)
  • Make a mental note to yourself of the interviewer’s eye colour. Not by staring in a weird psycho way, but ensure you make eye contact with him/her.
  • If you are offered a drink just ask for water.  If there are two interviewers you may find yourself making awkward conversation while one of them is off boiling the kettle which may unsettle your nerves. Plus, spilling water down yourself is better than getting coffee all down your front!
  • Interviews general compromise three elements:

Ability – this is the preparation prior to the interview (see Part One blog note). You know your abilities and have examples of experience.
Personality – make sure that you smile (but not like a Cheshire Cat), ask lots of questions and don’t butt in when the interviewer is talking.
Enthusiasm – avoid being negative about previous employers or moaning about anything! They want to see that you like the sound of the job, like the company and want to hear what YOU can offer them.

  • Watch the pace and tone of your voice. Don’t talk too fast or you will find you have reached the end of one sentence before you know what to say in the next. Then you end up talking rubbish. Make sure you don’t sound montonous or waffly.
  • You may get asked “What are your strengths?” – an easy question to answer if you have prepared well, but many people fall down and splutter when asked “What are your weaknesses?”. Obviously you don’t want to reel off a load of things you are not very good at but choose a couple from your preparation list and ALSO tell them what it is you are either doing at the moment to overcome this weakness (which is why I prefer to call them “areas of development”!) or what support you would need to improve in this area. It shows that you are aware of where you need to improve. Nobody is perfect.
  • Make sure you say “I” instead of “we” when talking about your past experience and abilities. “I did this…I did that…” rather then “We….”. You need to show that YOU were the one that did these things and not dilute it by suggesting that you were just a passenger.
  • Ask some “killer questions” at the end of the interview. Don’t rush straight in talking about salary but ask questions about the company’s future plans, career progression, market trends. Anything that will make you sound engaging and interested in what they do.
  • Finally, thank the interviewer/s for their time and shake their hand/s again.

Coming soon: Part Three…AFTER the interview



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