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Planning a better future

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8.4 On the day

Things to remember:

  • Don’t smoke before you go into the interview.
  • Don’t be overburdened with bags, papers or umbrellas.
  • Arrive in good time and allow yourself time to relax.
  • If you are delayed, telephone.
  • Remember the need for a poised, confident first impression.
  • Listen carefully and attentively to the questions; ask for repetition or clarification if you don’t understand a question.
  • Remember to take a copy of your application with you.
  • Don’t forget to turn off your mobile phone.

How you sound

  • Sound as if you have confidence in yourself.
  • Speak clearly. Don’t drop your voice towards the end of sentences and don’t mumble or speak too fast.
  • Use plain language that doesn’t confuse the interviewer, or go off at a tangent. Avoid jargon or clichés.
  • Speak concisely, be specific, and judge when you’ve said enough. Watch the interviewer’s behaviour, which will give you clues to whether you are answering the questions and timing your replies appropriately. If in doubt, ask ‘Would you like me to go on?’
  • Show through your answers that you’ve done your research into the company and tailored your answers specifically to them.
  • Don’t just tell them what you think they want to hear.
  • Make sure you answer the question that is being asked.
  • Convey the right amount of enthusiasm, warmth, friendliness and sincerity. Smile!
  • Avoid negative statements.

Body language

  • Walk and sit with good posture.
  • Shake hands firmly and briefly. Some people need to practise this.
  • Use your natural gestures – there’s no need to look frozen.
  • Avoid fidgeting and keep your hands away from your mouth.
  • Don’t fold your arms.
  • Maintain good eye contact with the person you’re speaking to.