There are a number of areas that you can work on to help yourself:
Always check the dress code. If you are uncertain, ask your recruitment consultant who will generally have visited the prospective employer and know what to expect. Overdressing is forgivable; under presentation is much harder to recover from.
Use a firm handshake with positive eye contact.
If there is a surprise interviewer try to write down their name and title so you don’t forget them when you want to address them personally. Place your interview props in easy reach – pen, paper, job spec, CV, notes.
Ask for a glass of water or if you need the bathroom, just ask – don’t sit and squirm.
If you know you get nervous ask for help, qualify it with your consultant or even the interviewer – they will support you if you value the role enough to get nervous about it.
If you know that you will demonstrate behaviours associated with nerves then put in place a technique/prop to manage it:
- - If you speak too fast: sip water. Also try to sit with your back straight and your shoulders back. This will open your chest and permit you to breathe.
- - If you are a pen tapper: hold it with 2 hands in front of you.
- - If you are a foot tapper: cross your ankles and place your hands together on your lap. As soon as you feel that tap begin condition yourself to stop it.
- - If you know you will perspire: ask to take your jacket off and have a clean handkerchief ready.
Place your props in your car, ready to use (these include: shoe polish, note pad, pen, tissues, and mints).
Closing The Interview
This can be hard, so take control:
- - If the interviewer has covered your prepared questions state that the interview was so comprehensive that it covered the questions you prepared previously. However, if there are more thoughts that come to light later can you call the interviewer/the consultancy.
- - Ask “as I am here are there any areas that you still have concerns about that relate specifically to the role? Can we cover them now?”.
- - Tell them that you will be giving your feedback as arranged to the consultancy and look forward to hearing from them again.
- - If the issue of salary arises it is always best to qualify that you are first and foremost looking for a position that satisfies your needs.
- - You may need a challenge or a very progressive company, or one that places a great deal on customer service, quality and personal integrity. Then you can say that with these areas in place remuneration will be appropriate to the position and level of skills.
- - Either be fully aware of the spending power of your interviewer or leave it ambiguous.
- - If at all possible mention a personal pastime or hobby or interest but be honest. If it is what you do, then it’s best to say that you collapse in front of the TV during the week and spend the weekend drinking wine with friends and trying to get ready for Monday! If you read, know your books. If you follow a sport, get up to date.