New to Interviewing? Check out our top tips from Kimberley Williams, Recruitment Administrator for hr inspire resourcing
You are sat in a waiting room fidgeting in your chair, it’s the BIG day … interview day!
A flurry of questions cross your mind, “What am I doing here? How do I appear normal to the someone who potentially could give me a job at the end of our conversation? Do I tell my signature punchline joke to them? What kind of handshake is the RIGHT kind? Am I overthinking everything?”
The problem is, when you worry so much about making sure every little thing goes right, it’s easy to forget about the things that could go wrong. So how can you ensure that you have a (relatively) embarrassment free interview experience?
If you’re an interviewing newbie, here are some pro tips to help you out…
- Do not fail to make eye contact.
Wide-eyed enthusiasm is expected. Wide-eyed staring, not so much. If you do manage to exhibit a non-threatening amount of eye contact, embrace it. It is a great way to show respect on both sides and it lets the interviewer know that you are paying attention to what they are saying, and are confident in what you have to say.
- Remember that your interviewers are actually human (no really, they are!)
Chances are, they might be nervous too. They will be understandably aware of you being slightly anxious on the day. They also understand that people sometimes make mistakes, and won’t judge you if you slip up once or twice as a result of nerves.
- Do not be late
Turning up late to an interview is never an option.
Being late makes you appear unorganised and unprofessional. We would recommend using your trusty GPS device to plan your route in advance. Add an extra half an hour onto your expected journey time, just in case. After all, you are still at the mercy of the GPS which could choose fail you on interview day.
- Do not complain about your previous employer
An interview is not the best time for truth-bombs. So your favourite stapler went missing in your old job and you’re heartbroken. We get it. But even if you’re 100% sure it was probably Marie from Accounts who took it, an interview probably isn’t a good time to start voicing your suspicion of former colleagues. Avoid the temptation to express how much you dislike your current boss, or complain about your colleagues, and be as positive as possible. Sound like a team player, not someone who holds a grudge.
- Do not use excessive slang
The formality of your speech is partly dependent on the role you have applied for and the type of company. But as a golden rule, we would avoid using slang. Remember: although you should feel comfortable around your interviewers, they’re not your best friends just yet. “Hi Mate” is never appropriate.
- No Lying
Everyone tells little white lies and over-sells at interviews, right? This is a risky business, it rarely works out for the best. You’ll only end up stumbling over yourself when asked to elaborate on your tall tale, and there will be giveaways from your body language that you are fibbing. Just be honest about your genuine achievements and experience, and it will work in your favour. And if not? Be prepared for the most awkward first day ever when you ultimately get the job and you have to reveal that you can’t actually speak Spanish.
- Relax, breathe, and take your time
So you’ve arrived at the interview full of nerves; your palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy – we know – interviews are a scary ordeal. Anxiety is inevitable, but it can be controlled with a few simple words – Breathe. Relax. Repeat. Remember, you have been invited to an interview for a reason; you’ve obviously done something right, and good news, they already like you, so try not to dwell on the fact that you might not impress. Slow your speech down, so you’re not speaking at a thousand words a minute, think through your answers before you say them. Remember: pausing for thought is always a good idea.