How To Impress During Your Interview:
10 Tips And Tricks
Job interviews are part and parcel of working life, and impressing in an interview is the best way to land your ideal job.
Regardless of whether you have a virtual or face-to-face interview, you need certain skills to make the best impression. As the job market is a competitive field, find out how you can impress during your interview this year, with ten helpful tips and tricks.
1. Ask Questions
You should always ask a question at interviews as it shows you are interested in the position and the company you are going to work for. Most of the time, interviewers will go over things like holiday hours, salary expectations, and working hours, so this is something you should avoid in your questions.
Instead, ask questions you couldn't find the answer to online. If you want to know more about the salary for the job before applying, Check-a-Salary is a UK salary calculator that you can easily use. You can find the average UK wage for your job title and location through their website. You can also search for salaries by industry.
2. Non-Verbal Communication Is Essential
Your tone of voice and what you say are only a small part of the whole interview process. How we come across in a non-verbal manner is just as essential. This means maintaining a good level of eye contact and sitting with our shoulders back and head high. Doing so will make us appear more confident, even if we aren't feeling it. Being too laid back can give off the wrong impression so always be aware of your body language and posture during your interview.
3. Dress The Part
A person is said to make their mind up about you within the first few seconds, so what you are wearing has a massive part to play on your first impression. You may have the best interview, but if you show up in worn-out trainers or with stains down your clothes, you are less likely to be taken seriously by your interviewer. Even a virtual interview requires you to look the part, so make sure to dress like you would for a normal interview- including pants! Here is a style guide for men to dress well for an upcoming interview.
4. Make Sure To Listen
Perhaps one of the most vital tips for an interview is to listen. An interviewer may give you information that you will need later or are hinting towards possible answers if you are not giving them the information they need to hear. Not listening to this could make you miss a huge opportunity to score more points. Also, communication is essential within a business environment, so good listening skills will work in your favour.
5. Be Honest But Professional
There is nothing wrong with admitting that you are nervous at an interview. Although you might find conflicting information about this online, it really comes down to how you say it. Everyone is nervous at job interviews, it is an unfamiliar environment, and that is how our bodies react.
Interviewers want you to feel as relaxed as possible, as this allows them to get a good idea of who you are as a person, underneath the nerves. Letting them know allows them to make adjustments to help, such as giving you some time to answer or even grabbing you a glass of water. Refrain from swearing or repeatedly bringing it up, but a simple "Apologies, I am a little nervous as I am very excited about this job role" can sound both professional and enthusiastic. Nerves just show that you care and want to do well. If you struggle with interview nerves, check out this article.
6. Don't Talk Too Much
As nerves get the better of us, it is easy to begin oversharing. This is how mistakes happen, and something is blurted out in a state of anxiety that doesn't need to be shared. Often, this is the time people kick themselves, as they drone on too much and mention something that probably isn't interview-worthy. Re-reading the job description is a good way to focus your answers, so you give a concise answer instead of rambling.
7. Watch Your Attitude
In an interview, there is a fine line between arrogance and confidence. Whilst you want to ooze confidence during an interview if you go too far the other way you may give the wrong impression. You should never go into an interview acting as if you know it all, try to remain modest instead. However shy you are, being overly quiet could cost you the job too. There is a happy medium somewhere as long as you remain professional, polite, and most importantly; yourself.
8. Learn How To Answer Interview Questions
To answer interview questions well, you have to be prepared. Start by researching the most commonly asked interview questions so you can prepare general answers in advance. Being caught off guard is the worst thing in an interview and will lead to poor answers that don't reflect the correct model.
Most interview questions should be answered using the STAR technique: situation, task, action, and result. Going through your answers in this way will ensure employers understand how and why you did what you did and how your skills were used in a real-life situation. It is all well and good saying you did a job well, but you won't get very far until you bring more substance to this.
9. Have Everything Ready Beforehand
Some interviews require you to take documents with you, such as ID or right to work in the UK. As a rule of thumb, it is also a good idea to have your CV (resume) with you to look at it before you go in. If they ask questions relating to an old job, it is good to have the things you have noted on your CV fresh in your mind.
When completing a virtual interview, have everything set up well before the interview time. There is nothing worse than turning up a few minutes before to find out you can't get your microphone to connect or you need to update Zoom or Microsoft Teams. As good as technology can be, it isn't always on our side, especially on the days we seem to need it most.
10. Practise Makes Perfect
Once you have everything ready, take time to practice your interview skills. Get a friend or partner to read out your interview questions and some surprising ones that you may not have prepared for. The more you practice, the more relaxed you will feel when it comes to the real thing.
Even with nerves, a rehearsed interview will go much better than one that hasn't been prepared for at all! You can even practice in front of the mirror or on video to see how you react and how your body language looks.
Impressing at your interview will improve your chances of getting the job, especially when there are lots of candidates. Ask questions, improve your non-verbal communication, dress the part, and listen. Be honest whilst maintaining a professional attitude and don't overshare. Know how to answer interview questions well, get everything ready in advance, and get practising. With the right preparation, you can bring your best self to your interview.
Further Reading from Skills You Need
Develop the skills you need to get that job.
This eBook is essential reading for potential job-seekers. Not only does it cover identifying your skills but also the mechanics of applying for a job, writing a CV or resume and attending interviews.
About the Author
Zoe has written and researched articles for a wide variety of career websites, blogs and magazines, has a strong understanding of current business trends and a passion for entrepreneurism.