Top tips: How to make a great impression at an interview

Getting an interview is your first step towards landing one of your ideal jobs – but what do employers actually want to see when you arrive? These top tips will help you make the best possible impression.

Be prepared

It sounds simple, but being properly prepared for your interview is essential.

With so many vacancies available in the job market it can be easy to lose track of the specifics of the certain company you’re interviewing for. Make sure you spend some time researching the company, key elements of their service, and that you know fully what the job description of the vacancy you’re applying for is. Know the role, know the key skills they’re looking for, and understand why you’re the best person for the job.

Dress appropriately

The keyword when considering your attire for an interview is “appropriate”. Dressing correctly can be one of the best possible ways of making the right impression before you’ve even shaken hands with the interviewer. Your dress should be tailored to the nature of the job you’re applying for. Here are some examples – for higher-level management positions you would want to dress smartly. For general administration and office work, office smart-casual is more appropriate. Whatever the job, never wear jeans or overly casual footwear.

Here are some examples – for higher-level management positions you would want to dress smartly. For general administration and office work, office smart-casual is more appropriate. Whatever the job, never wear jeans or overly casual footwear.

Be on time

Lateness is obviously one of the worst things you can let happen if you want to make the best impression. You should aim to arrive for your interview ten or fifteen minutes before the given time, as a general rule.

Some employers will give an ideal time for you to arrive, so keep a close eye out for it and make sure you observe it. Being too early can give as bad an impression as being too late. If you are going to be late due to unforeseen delays, make sure you call as soon as you can, giving the honest reason for your lateness and when you expect you can be there.

Anticipate the questions

A key element of being prepared for your interview is to think of the types of questions you might be asked and formulate answers to them. It’s important not to memorise answers, as you don’t want to give the impression you’re just repeating lines you’ve learned.

Common questions include those about what makes you think you’re best suited to the role, how you think you can benefit the company, and where you see yourself in several years time. It’s important you’re honest, employers will be able to tell if you’re just saying what you think they want to hear. 

Ask your own questions

An interview isn’t just there for the employer to ask you questions, it’s your opportunity to ask questions for yourself. This is something you’re going to want to do, as it shows initiative and it displays how keen you are to get the job in question. 

If you’re not sure of anything you’ve discussed in the course of the interview, now is the time to ask about it. Remember that asking questions is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of a willingness to learn and develop, which is going to help you make a memorable impression on the employer. 

Follow these five simple tips and you’re sure to make the best possible impression at your next interview.

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