Understanding Interviews Part 2 - On the day

Mark Williams

There has been a lot written about how to handle an interview, but I always find that doing the simple things is always the best advice. You have clearly already impressed the company with your initial approach and CV so now is the time to really prepare yourself to make the most of your opportunity.

The key time, first impressions count.

There is no doubt that the first two minutes are the most important in any interview process. If you want to differentiate yourself then this is the time to really make a good impression, so be extra aware in those early moments. 

Here are my top tips for interview success

  1. Be prepared and establish a rapport. Remember good eye contact is important, a firm handshake and smile! Show interest in the interviewer and their business and be positive and enthusiastic about your opportunity.
  2.  Research the company in advance. Go online, look at their website, speak to people who know them, speak to others who work there. What do they do, who are their competitors, what is their company culture? The more you know about them the better chance you have.
  3. Be prepared for the key question, ‘Tell me about yourself’. Prepare for this question, don’t waffle, and keep it to a couple of minutes and tell them why you are the right person for the job.
  4. Give at least three good reasons. Why should they give you the job? No need to be cheesy, just be honest and sell your skills. Get them thinking that you are so interested in them and you are such a perfect fit that they need look no further.
  5. Be positive throughout. Don’t use negative language, don’t criticise anything or anyone and always respond to any questions with positive, motivating answers.
  6. Remember your manners. Be polite, thank them for their time, and send a thank you email afterwards. Say how much you enjoyed the meeting and thank them for giving you the opportunity.
  7. Ask questions. Make sure you have at least three questions for them, make them relevant, pertinent and demonstrate your keenness for the job.

Remember above all that preparation is key. Think through the language you’ll use, the examples you’ll quote and firmly commit your interviewer’s name to memory (or write it somewhere prominent on your notepad beforehand). You’ll be and feel more confident!