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How to handle an interview

If you have not read our tips on how to write the perfect CV or preparing for an interview we recommend that you do so.

Arriving

  • Plan how you are going to get to the interview and park if you are driving.
  • Check traffic reports before and alter your departure time if necessary.
  • Arrive 10 minutes before the interview as you will have to sign in at reception, you may also need to use the toilet and you will probably want to get a drink of water.
  • If you arrive earlier wait nearby if you can until closer to the time. It can come across as too keen if you arrive too early and the interviewer might think you have made a mistake and got the wrong time.
  • If for reasons outside of your control you are going to be late phone to say you are going to be late.

During the interview

  • Do not chew gum.
  • Give a firm handshake but don’t make it a strength contest.
  • Try to make eye contact but don’t stare them out.
  • Speak loud and clear and do not mumble.
  • If the interviewer asks you open questions try and avoid short answers but do not ramble on.
  • Be polite and show respect.
  • Do not interrupt them when they are talking.
  • Sell yourself but don’t brag or show off.
  • Do not get too defensive if they criticize your work. You can politely disagree without being aggressive of arguing.
  • Do not rubbish other people or companies.
  • Listen carefully and do not be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand.
  • Be mindful of your body language, i.e. do not slouch, hunch, rock in chair, sit with legs open, etc.
  • Remember you are also interviewing them so do not be afraid to ask questions and show your work.
  • Take notes during the interview if necessary especially if you are planning to ask your questions at the end of the interview.
  • If they don’t mention their competitors during the interview don’t be afraid to ask who they see as their competitors.
  • At the end of the interview if the interviewer does not mention the next steps don’t be afraid to ask what the next steps are.

During a face-to-face meeting:

  • Speak loud and clear
  • Try not to lose the eye contact
  • Show respect
  • Listen
  • Use appropriate body behaviour

Once you have gained the interest of the opposite side, you can discuss the details of your services and how they could be useful and valuable. Show the benefits of doing business with you, and why that is the best decision they may take.