So, you have prepared yourself, planned your route, researched the company, prepared some questions to ask and anticipated what you may be asked. Finally, it’s the day of the interview.

First impressions: You will make an impression in the first few minutes of an interview, which is why it is important for you to smile, offer a good firm handshake, as well as plan your greeting.

Communication: Interviews are a two-way process and an opportunity for you to show an employer the benefits of employing you. Whilst it is important for you to sell yourself by detailing your relevant skills and experience, you must be careful not to monopolise the interview and allow the employer to speak.

The next steps: At the end of the interview, thank the employer for their time, and agree what the next step will be. Find out who will be contacting you to let you know the outcome of your interview, and when you expect to find out whether or not you have been successful. You should also find out whether the next step will be a decision/job offer or second interview.

At the end of the interview: If you are interested in the position, make sure you let the employer know. It is always good to leave on a positive note.

How to make a good first impression

Here are a few do’s and don’ts that may help you create a good first impression at interview:

Do:

  • Be confident.
  • Smile, be polite and friendly.
  • Offer a good firm handshake.
  • Keep eye contact during the interview.
  • Speak clearly.
  • Ask for clarification if you don’t understand a question.
  • Sell yourself and your strengths.
  • Above all, be sure to tell the truth!
  • Try to get a good night’s sleep.

Don’t:

  • Sit until invited.
  • Fidget or slouch in your chair.
  • Swear.
  • Criticise previous employers.
  • Interrupt the employer when they are speaking.
  • Exaggerate or go over the top.