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Top Ten Tips for acing an interview

Once you have been offered an interview, you are half way there to being offered the job. Follow these ten tips and you will get even closer to starting your career:

1. Dress smart – sounds obvious. It’s about first impressions, but being comfortable too. Look professional making sure you can move and sit confidently when you are talking. The last thing you want is to feel restricted or be wearing something too tight as it will be all you think about.

2. Give yourself time – don’t leave arriving to the last minute. Give yourself the time to travel and know where you need to be; think about finding parking, allowing for small delays, how you get into the building and where the reception is. These kinds of things will only make you feel flustered if they don’t go your way.

3. Research the employer – find out about the company themselves and if possible what their mission statement is or main objectives are. Know what their requirements of the job are and any background information on the business. The more research you can do the more prepared you will be to answer their questions and understand what they are looking for.

4. Speak clearly – don’t mumble or rush your answers. It is fine, in an interview, to take a moment to think of an answer before starting to respond.

5. Make eye contact – when you are addressing an interviewer, maintain eye contact. Try and look at everyone on the panel, with a focus on who asked you the question. Don’t look down at the desk or out the window as this will make you look disinterested. Eye contact will also help you remain more focused and be able to gage their reaction to your answers.

6. Be confident – if you don’t believe, neither will they.

7. Listen to the questions – which sounds simple, but you can easily mishear what they are actually asking when you are under pressure.  Don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat the question.

8. Body language – is hugely important. You need to look engaged and enthusiastic when in front of the interview panel. Don’t sit back with your arms folded, for example. Try and sit forward or up straight, hands in front of you so you can use them to express your answers and keep the panel absorbed in the conversation. Remember to shake hands when you meet and introduce yourself with a smile. And when you leave thank all the interviewers.

9. Review common interview questions and have some answers prepared – think about why you want the job, something you are proud of, a difficult situation you handled and what your strengths are in advance. It is also a good idea to think of a question you can ask at the end as this leaves the panel with a good impression.

10. Don’t get disheartened - see each No as one step closer to getting a Yes – it can be difficult to hear the “on this occasion…” speech and feel rejected, especially if you feel you could not have done anything more. Sometimes, it is not meant to be, and interview experience is never a bad thing so see it as a way of practicing your interview technique. Don’t give up and good luck!

If you would like advice and guidance from our expert team on training possibilities or ways to improve your employability potentials you can make an appointment with our team via email guidanceteam@lincolncollege.ac.uk or call 030 030 32435.

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