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Tips & Advice for Successful Job Interviews

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 12 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Interviewing Interviews Interview Tips

Interviewing for employment is the one experience guaranteed to turn even the most confident candidate into a nervous wreck. The very idea of an interview can be enough to make palms sweat, stomachs churn and spots pop up for the first time in ten years. If you’ve got an important interview coming up, don’t even think of attending without reading these tips on acing job interviews. You can thank us later!

Look the Part

Even before you open your mouth or take out a copy of your CV your interviewers will be assessing you on your appearance. First impressions are hard to change, so make sure that you look the part when you waltz through the door. Remember to:
  • Dress appropriately. Wear a suit for an office interview, and a shirt and tie or appropriate blouse for all others.
  • Keep you hair clean, neat and out of your eyes.
  • Go easy on the scent. The ability to send someone into a sneezing fit is not impressive.
  • Keep makeup muted and natural.
  • Wear minimal jewellery if you are a female, and little or no jewellery if you are a male.
  • Present clean, short nails.
  • Carry a sturdy, professional bag.
  • Keep several copies of your CV and cover letter in a tidy cover.

Be Professional

From the moment you arrive at the interview venue you may be judged for a position. Wow them from the start by:
  • Turning up ten minutes early.
  • Checking in politely.
  • Smiling and greeting everyone who is also waiting.
  • Waiting calmly, without fidgeting or playing with your mobile. In fact, make sure your mobile is turned off before you enter the building.
  • Browsing company publications, not gossip rags.
  • Sitting appropriately and keeping your bag at your feet, not on another chair or table.

Show Poise and Confidence

The trick to a great interview is to have a smooth, well-developed answer ready for every question. This is easier said than done, but with appropriate research before the big day you should know enough about the position, company and industry to form some sort of confident answer to standard questions. If you do happen to draw a blank when the spotlight is on you, remember to remain poised and be honest. Simply tell your interviewer that you aren’t certain of the answer but that it is a topic you would enjoy researching further if given the chance. No matter what you are being asked, remember to:
  • Maintain eye contact with your interviewer.
  • Avoid talking with your hands or fidgeting.
  • Answer briefly and concisely. Always get to the point.
  • Listen to what is being asked so that you can answer appropriately.
  • Shake hands with everyone either when you enter or before you leave.
  • Thank each interviewer before you finish.
Interviews can be an ordeal; there is no doubt about that. If you are having doubts before your next interview, remember that you wouldn’t have been called if they didn’t already believe you were a good match for the job. Prepare well, be polite and professional and before you know it you’ll be enjoying the job of your dreams!

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