Career choicesInterview techniques to help you get the job

The interview

Appearance

First impressions count, especially when you are going for an interview. Make sure you:

  • dress appropriately. Consider who you are meeting, the type of job and the company. Generally, wear something smart, rather than anything loud or outrageous.
  • keep make-up and jewellery to a minimum.
  • arrive clean and well-groomed.

Body language

Your body language says a lot about you, so try not to give out any negative signals. Good body language will show that you are alert, attentive and relaxed. You want the interviewer to concentrate on you and not your mannerisms or fidgeting.

Tips to remember:

  • give a firm handshake
  • wait until asked before you sit down. Sit up straight, but comfortably. Do not slouch
  • maintain eye contact with the interviewer
  • control any nervous mannerisms, such as fidgeting, nail biting or foot tapping
  • smile
  • take deep breaths if you start to feel nervous
  • look out for signs of tension in your body, such as clenched fists or gritted teeth. Try to relax, it will make you look and feel more confident.

Communication

  • listen carefully to the interviewer's questions and make sure you have understood the question before you answer. If in doubt, ask for the question to be repeated.
  • if you don't know the answer to a question - be honest. Let the interviewer know that you intend to expand your knowledge on this subject.
  • give as much relevant information and as many illustrations of your experience as you can. But be succinct and avoid waffling.
  • avoid giving yes/no answers to questions; always expand your answers with reasons.
  • Do not talk too much and never interrupt. Communication is a two-way thing. Keep your answers to 2 or 3 minutes at the most, this will help you to keep them more focused.
  • be enthusiastic and give positive answers. Never criticise a previous employer or your school/college.
  • remember to thank your interviewers for their time as you leave.