If you get nervous and tongue tied at interviews, the following article could help you prepare for your next interview.Congratulations! You’ve got that all-important interview! It’s understandable that you’ll be nervous, but don’t worry – the tips below will help you out.
These can take place with one or many interviewers present. Make sure that you find out in advance how many people will be in the room. Sometimes you won’t always be told in advance.
Before the interview
Research into the company. It’ll look good if you ask them questions as well as answering them.
Take a copy of your CV with you.
Find out if you’re expected to take any tests.
Plan your responses
Make a list of questions to ask about the role. Make sure that you know exactly where you are going, what time to arrive and who you are going to see. Check out roads and train routes in advance to allow yourself plenty of time.
Plan ahead. Prepare thoroughly! Make sure that you have all the relevant information with you – including your CV and pen and paper.
Find a room where you are not likely to be interrupted.
Have a glass of water handy in case your mouth dries up!
Switch off your mobile phone if you’re taking the call on a landline. You don’t want your mobile ringing half-way through the interview.
Leave preparation to the last minute.
Panic if you get lost – keep calm, and call the company to let them know.
At the interview
Arrive at least 10 minutes early.
Maintain a good posture – body language is everything!
Maintain eye contact when speaking. Answer questions clearly – speaking too quickly can be seen as a sign of nervousness.
Ask questions about the company; this shows that you’ve done your homework.
Ask questions about the role – see the ‘Sample Interview Questions and Answers’ section.
If you have to take a test, don’t rush it. Take your time.
Arrive late without an explanation.
Avoid eye contact.
Speak negatively about your current/previous employer.
Forget to thank the interviewer for their time.
After the interview
If you were sent by an agency, actively seek feedback from them. If the feedback is negative, you can use this to improve for your next interview. If you applied for the job independently, the interviewer will probably have given you a time-frame in which to expect a decision. If you don’t hear anything back, make a point of calling to ask for their feedback.
Some companies may wish to have a telephone interview before they meet you in person. You will be told in advance the nature of the interview (technical, general chat etc).
During the interview
Listen to and answer each question carefully.
Make notes and tape-record if you wish.
Give short and precise answers.
Ask the interviewer any questions you may have.
Give a strong finish to strengthen your chances of a face-to-face interview.
Interrupt the interviewer.
Pause for too long.
Make any loud noises.
Try and do anything else while talking!
The second interview
If your first interview was successful then you may be called back for a second one. The people present in the second interview will vary depending on who interviewed you first time around. It could be a manager higher up the chain, or it could be someone from HR. Whoever it is, you’ll need to be prepared to answer tougher questions.
Remember that a second interview is not necessarily a definite indication that you have secured the job – it’s another chance to impress.
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