Improve your interview technique

Published by Ruth Cornish on 27 December 2013.
Last updated on 27 December 2013

1. Look the part. If you are applying for a trendy media job, you won't want to wear a boring old suit, but not wearing a tie to a law firm will instantly rule you out. Your image can be a deal breaker.

2. Arrive early and ensure you know where you are going. Double-check dates and times. Do a practice run if you don't know the area.

3. Do your research - employers often underestimate how hard it is for external people to understand the in-house culture. So find out as much as you can.

4. Sell yourself. Think to yourself the interview is no more than a formal conversation and an opportunity to show off your achievements. A time to blow your own trumpet.

5. Manners count - stand up when your interviewer approaches. Nice firm handshake. Also take your coat off. Wait to be served drinks but avoid hot ones.

6. Smell good - don't drink or smoke before an interview. Also, avoid overpowering perfume or aftershave.

7. Tell the truth. Never pretend you know or did something if you didn't.

8. Interviewers are human, too. If you haven't worked for five years because you were bringing up your children, say so but also point out you spent time on social media websites and your computer skills are great.

9. Ask genuine questions - we can tell when you ask things just to sound good.

10. If you don't understand a question, ask for an explanation.

11. Be realistic. If your interviewer asks what your faults are, never say you are perfectionist or work too hard. It's a ridiculously common answer!

12. Be honest. Show positive emotion around how keen you are. It's infectious.

13. Humility is an attractive quality. Show it.

Ruth Cornish is an HR consultant with more than 25 years experience. Visit for more info.

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