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Top tips to ace an interview

Tips to help you ace an interview

You’ve followed all our advice on writing a stellar CV and you’ve landed an interview. Now what? Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience, even for the most confident person. Follow these top tips to keep your cool and impress your potential employer.

Do your research
The most important step you can take when preparing for an interview is to research the company inside and out. What are they up to at the moment? Have they just made a big sale or merged with another firm? Comment on such news during the interview to show them you’ve put some thought into your candidacy. Look at industry news too so you can sound confident if they ask you opinion on anything.

Plan your route
Reduce your already high stress levels by planning your route to the interview’s location the night before. Build in lots of extra time to account for possible train delays or traffic jams and be sure to save the details of your contact at the company into your phone in case the fates are against you in getting to the office on time.

Pick your outfit
It sounds silly and actually it’s common sense, but remember to dress smart regardless of the company. Even if you’re going for an interview at a hip start-up where jeans and t-shirts are standard, dress for a top corporate job unless you’re told otherwise. Never assume that casual clothes are okay when you’re competing for a job.

Practise your elevator pitch
Pretty much every interviewer asks that dreaded question: “Tell me about yourself.” To avoid droning on and divulging too much information too soon, practise what networking experts call your elevator pitch. This should be a brief, roughly 30-second spiel about your current role, your goals and an interesting personal fact. Use this pitch to outline your passion and let your personality shine.

The interview starts at the door
Imagine that your every move is being watched before you even walk in the door. Be on your game from the moment you cross the threshold. We’ve heard many stories in which a fully qualified candidate was passed up for a role because they were rude to the receptionist or failed to strike up a conversation with the person who took them to the interview room – most often a PA.

Studies show that simply smiling can reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Even if you think the interview is going badly, remember to smile. It’ll make you feel a little better and your interviewer will remember that your positive attitude.