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Whether it’s your first or fifteenth interview, there are some tried and tested tips that you should remember each and every time. Below are some of our favourites.

1. Be prepared

Take time to research the company you are going to meet and what they do, as well as re-reading your own CV so you are clear on how your skills and experience make you a good match for the job. Don’t forget to prepare a few questions you want to ask about the role, the company and what would be expected of you if you were successful.

2. Stay calm and don’t panic

It’s OK to take a few moments to think about your answers if you get asked a tricky question. Nobody is trying to catch you out, nerves are normal and small silences are perfectly fine. Just take a breath, give yourself a moment to gather your thoughts, and then carry on.

3. Sit up straight

It might sound like something you’d hear at school, but your body language tells your interviewer a lot. Be positive and maintain eye contact. Don’t cross your arms.

4. Make a good first impression

Taking the time to prepare your interview outfit and shine your shoes can give a big boost to your professional image. Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to get to your interview on the day so that you arrive a little early. You don’t want to put unnecessary pressure on yourself by turning up late.

5. Know what you have to offer

This is your moment to tell the interviewer why they should hire you, so give them examples of how and when you’ve displayed the skills they’re looking for. Be ready to talk about your previous experience and abilities, and have at least three strong points about yourself that you can relate to the job on offer.

6. Remember your manners

Politeness is important! Always start and end your interview with a firm handshake and take the time to say thank you for the opportunity to interview. Don’t be afraid to ask for a business card so that you can follow up the meeting with an email reinforcing your thanks and reminding the interviewer that you are still really interested in the role.

7. Practice makes perfect!

Even if you don’t have someone to ask you example questions, you can rehearse the types of answers you want to give. Keep thinking about the answers as you do normal things like brushing your teeth in front of the mirror, or making a cup of tea.

8. Smile

It’s simple but effective 🙂

If you have any other tips you’d like to share, pop them in a comment below – we’d love to read them!

Good luck!

About the author
This article was originally published by the Drive Forward Foundation, who support care leavers to achieve their full potential through securing sustainable employment.
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