The first few moments of a job interview set the tone for how the rest will go. Here are our top tips for face to face interviews:
1. Dress appropriately for the job and company
Many offices nowadays have casual dress codes. However, it’s best not to assume what the dress code is if you’re not sure. While most companies won’t expect you to wear a full suit for an interview, it ultimately comes down to the company’s culture and potentially the seniority level of the job you’re interviewing for.
If possible, find out what the company’s dress code is before the interview. If your interview is with one of our clients, the team will be able to tell you whether it’s best to go formal or slightly more casual. It’s also important to note that even if the dress code is casual, make sure you still look presentable.
2. Treat everyone you meet as your interviewer
This tip can often get overlooked but don’t underestimate its importance! Whether it’s the person managing the reception desk, or the security personnel on the front door, don’t assume that your interactions with people prior to the interview will go unnoticed. Our advice is to treat everyone you come across with as much respect as you would your interviewer. Even if they aren’t the person that’ll be interviewing you, your potential employer may ask for their feedback.
3. Listen, pay attention, and engage
It may seem obvious, but it’s easy to trail off and get lost in your own thoughts sometimes. Your interviewer will be providing you with lots of information, either directly or indirectly. If you’re not fully listening, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to learn more about the company, the role, and the overall expectations.
As well as that, it’s good to show your potential employer that you’re fully engaged in the conversation. Show off your good communication skills with eye contact, engaged facial expressions, non-verbal and verbal responses.
4. Avoid talking too much
Talking too much could be a fatal mistake and could just cost you the job. A lack of preparation may cause you to ramble when answering questions, which can mean that your point becomes unclear or you end up saying the wrong thing. Make sure to prepare for the interview by reading through the job spec and mapping out potential answers against the key skills they’re looking for.
5. Prepare for some initial small talk
Small talk is a great way to fill the awkward silence before an interview officially begins. It’s also a great way to break the ice and calm your interview nerves. If you’re confident with making small chit chat, then you probably don’t really need to prepare. But, if awkward silences make you anxious, then it might be a good idea to do some small talk prep. Here are some tips to help you spark some conversations:
- Avoid cliche questions about the weather
- Try to find any common interests
- Stick to safe, uncontroversial topics
- Prepare a question or thought about something company-related
- Do some digging on the company’s social media channels - you can often find out what they have been up to outside of work which may help break the ice.
6. Don’t be rude or cocky
Your attitude and how your personality comes across in an interview will play a pivotal role in your interview success. Confidence is a positive quality to showcase but coming across rude or cocky will have a negative impact on how your potential employer views you. It can be difficult to strike the right balance. You don’t want to be overconfident but you also don’t want to be too reserved. Our advice is to be professional and modesty, and show your interviewer that you’ll be a great person to work with.
7. Remember good manners and body language
Non-verbal communication is just as important as what you say in an interview. Here are a few body language tips to show that you’re approachable and engaged in the conversation.
- Smile frequently
- Make eye contact
- Sit and stand tall with upright posture
8. Be authentic, concise and enthusiastic
Make sure you answer questions truthfully, concisely, and try to tie them back to your skills and accomplishments. It’s also great if you can show authenticity and let your personality shine through. This can really set you apart from all the other candidates, and could just be the thing to land you the job!
Employers also want to see your enthusiasm about the company and the job you're interviewing for. So, make sure to highlight why you want to work there and ask lots of questions about the team and the company.
9. Prepare questions
At the end of the interview, most hiring managers tend to ask “do you have any questions” and it’s never a good sign for an employer if an interviewee answers “no”. So, it’s important to make sure you have questions to ask. You might find that your questions get answered by the interviewer throughout the interview, so you should prepare quite a few, so that you definitely have something to ask!
However, if you do find that all your questions have been answered and you’re struggling to think of anything else on the spot, a good response could be “I think all my questions have been answered, as you’ve provided lots of detail. However, if I think of anything else, would it be okay to contact you at a later date?” Or something similar to that.
Follow these interview tips and you’ll be sure to smash your next job interview. Want some more advice or looking for a new opportunity? Get in contact with our expert recruiters today.