5 Tips On How Not To Look Like A Newcomer In Your Interview
It is well known that interviews are stressful, anxiety-ridden, nightmare experiences for most people and that anxiety levels increase in direct relation to how much you want the job.
If you have not been to many, (indeed, any) interviews before it can be a very steep learning curve and an extremely unnerving experience. We are going to run five tips by you that should help to calm those nerves and get you looking like a pro!
1) Make sure that you look the part
Think of all the people who have made an impression on you over the years and you will realise that their physical appearance is one of the characteristics that set them apart for you. This is what the interviewer sees first in any interview situation. Before you have uttered a word they may walk past you in reception, you may unwittingly share the elevator with them up to the office; when you go for the interview dress to impress. A scrubbed up, well kept, tidy and smart appearance goes a long way to negating your lack of experience and will create the right impression from the start.
2) Do your homework
You can never do enough homework on a new job. Even if you already work at the company, there is always a new angle you can dig out to talk about at the interview. What are the latest contracts that the firm has landed. How can you help to push the company forward? What does the interviewer think of the company strategy and so on? Never forget that an interview is a two-way discussion. The interviewer will want to interact, explore your thought processes and see how you approach the process. Knowing this will give the impression that you know your subject.
3) Learn about body language
Posture, expressions, and movement are giveaways in an interview. Practice in front of a full-length mirror, or video yourself, to become familiar with your own tics and reactions. Get someone to critique this with you to get you more comfortable with how you come across to an interviewer. There is a lot you can do to hide nervousness and give the impression that you have done this hundreds of times before. Sitting up straight with your hands on your lap should be your default position and something you should be aware of throughout the interview. It is easy to slouch or cross your legs without thinking - don’t even think about leaning forward and putting your arms on the desk. Work out a checklist and run through it mentally during the interview.
4) Mind your P’s and Q’s
Nothing comes across worse in an interview than the candidate who knows everything. In your nervousness and the uncomfortable and unfamiliar atmosphere of an interview situation, it is easy to try to get across as much information as you can and to show the interviewer how clever you are. Try to avoid coming across as a smart ass. In fact; no, DON’T come across as a smart ass at all - be humble, and rather than trying to dazzle the interviewer with your wit and wisdom, ask them some searching questions about the position and the company and what your role will be. Be interested rather than interesting. Interviewers are usually looking for people to work in a team which is already established - one of the hidden agendas is to try to see how you will fit in - bear that in mind.
5) Try and relax
Easy to say but if you come across as natural and easy going it will do wonders for the flow of conversation and the overall impression you create about yourself.
So go and enjoy yourself - look at it as a learning experience, and, two little bonus tips that every rookie should know - get a good night’s sleep and don’t be late!