Tips for a successful job interview

job interview

So you’ve secured a job aligning with your professional and personal skills, but you’re not sure how to actively prepare?

We’ve collated effective tips to display further confidence and aiding in a successful job interview.

How to prepare for a job interview

First impressions count

As the old saying goes, first impressions always count. An appropriate outfit should be considered dependent upon the particular sector the job role is in. It’s as inappropriate to turn up in complete formal attire for a creative startup role as it is to wear your dress-downs to a corporate office job interview. Go onto the website of the employer and check their recruitment photos and videos to get an idea of the attire and match it. If you immediately look like you fit in due to your clothing, you’ve ticked one box straight away.

If you’d like to wear makeup, it’s advised to wear lighter daytime makeup. By applying more neutral colours on your eyes and lips this will not distract away from anything you have to say. At the interview, it’s crucial to feel the best and put forward the most confident version of yourself. Act on whatever you feel would be appropriate for the particular role, and staying authentic.

Ensure to bring any documentation with you

If in your invite, it states to bring with you certain documents such as; passport or driver’s license, have copies ready, as well as the original in-hand. This will display effective organisation skills and attention to detail upon reading briefs. Be sure to have these neatly organised within a folder, and not loose and stuffed within a large handbag.

If you are being recruited for a more creative or technical role, it could be a good idea to bring along a portfolio of your work. If you’re going to a front-end web developer interview for example, having a GitHub account to show your employer throughout the interview could be a way to really stand out from the crowd, and a chance to talk through previous projects.

Remember to relax

Most people find being interviewed a stressful and anxious experience. Whether you’re feeling nervous during the night, 15 minutes before, or actually in the interview, it is vital to relax. Relaxing can help your true persona to shine through, and your ability to answer interview questions and match your accomplishments will be more effective. Practising relaxation techniques, such as listening to calming music, deep breaths to the count of 10, and focusing on your posture, can all help to increase your confidence levels going into an interview. For a unique tip, before the interview look into a mirror and make yourself as big as possible in an almost bear-like pose. It’s proven to trick your brain into giving you a quick confidence boost. Just ensure to check the bathroom or lift is free before trying this method.

Show enthusiasm

During an interview, the employee hiring would be much more inclined to take a liking to an individual who is actually interested in the business itself. To show that you’re being observant, complement something about the organisation itself, or even the office, as this can be regarded as a huge bonus. This can also set an initial positive tone upon entering the interviewing room. Another way to display your enthusiasm is through your body language throughout the interview. Confidently keep your chest open, with shoulders slightly down and sit slightly forward to show your active engagement in the two-way conversation.

Ready with questions

As the interview draws to an end, it is more than likely that the interviewer will ask if you have any questions. This is the perfect opportunity to find out more about the company, job role, pay, or anything else not covered during the interview. Even if you personally do not need to know the specific answer, this again will show enthusiasm and present your willingness to learn more about the role. Questions could include the following;

  • What is the company culture and the vision?
  • What is the long-term vision for the company?
  • What does the typical work-week look like for a personal in this position?
  • What are the next stages in this interview process?
  • How does teamwork and collaboration work within this team?

After the Interview

As well as first impressions, last impressions also have a longstanding impact. Upon closing the interview be sure to firmly shake the interviewer’s hand, and thank them for their time. Soon after, or the evening of the interview, be sure to follow the interviewer up with an email again. This can again thank them for the opportunity, state how you’d be a great fit for the role and how you’ll look forward to hear from them soon.

Each aspect of this job interview help guide can aid in presenting the ‘true you’ to a potential employers. However, you secured this interview because the organisation is intrigued in finding out more you as a person, and how you would fit into the company. Be confident, on time and polite and the interview will go as well as it can do.

About the author

James Calder is chief executive of Distinct Recruitment, a recruitment agency based in Nottingham, UK, focusing on hiring across the following sectors; finance, human resources, procurement, supply chain, marketing, office support, and web technologies. James founded Distinct in 2014 and the business has now grown to almost 30 employees.

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