Dealing with nerves
It is inevitable that when it comes to the day of the interview you will get a bout of nerves but when channelled in the right way, they can actually help you to be at your very best. So long as you have done all you can in the lead up to the interview, try to be calm and reassure yourself that this is just a professional conversation, not a personal interrogation. Research breathing techniques – slowing your breathing can be really effective in making you feel calmer.
First impressions count
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. From the moment you walk into the room, you need to be selling yourself - confidence is key. When you greet your interviewer/s make sure you make eye contact and use a firm handshake. It can be difficult, but the trick is to try and relax your body and avoid looking closed or standoffish. The breathing techniques will come in handy here. Albert Mehrabian, a professor of communications, conducted a study and found that the relative importance of body language when conveying a message is 55%, compared to 38% tone and 7% words. This shows just how important it is for you to ensure your body language reflects your interest in the role.
Answering the questions
You’ve done all your research, beaten the nerves and now it’s time to really sell yourself. Look the interviewer in the eye, and if it’s a panel interview don’t just stare at one of them, keep an open body stance and engage the whole panel. When answering competency based questions (e.g. describe a situation where you demonstrated leadership etc.), adopt the STAR technique. The STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action and Result) provides you with a basic template on how to answer these questions, allowing you to really show your abilities.
At the end of the interview ask intelligent questions, it shows the interviewer that you are someone who was engaged and can think on their feet. Find out what questions you could ask an interviewer to really set you apart from the rest. It doesn’t hurt to have a few prepared in advance – never leave an interview with the infamous ‘I think you’ve covered everything’ as this shows a distinct lack of engagement.