When it comes to interviews, a little bit of nerves is good but you don't want them interfering with your chances on the day. Here are tips on how to stop those interview jitters and win yourself that job.
*Slideshow: Make-up do’s & don’ts for the interview room.
*Slideshow: Guys! Look your best for your interview.
Although you may have the qualifications, experience and proven track record to do the job, you may lose out to a candidate who "interviews better" if you're not prepared. Being prepared as much as you can for an interview will give you a huge confidence boost on the day. It means being able to anticipate possible questions and show that you really want the job and can fit into the corporate culture.
Top preparation tips
1. Find out what kind of interview you will be sitting, and who will be attending. The last thing you want is to walk into the room and see four people sitting there when you thought it would be a less formal one-on-one interview.
2. Prepare for the type of questions you may be asked. Look at your strengths and weaknesses, your career highlights, why you're moving on etc.
3. Psychologist and career-change specialist, Meredith Fuller, says to prepare five "stories" to tell in the interview that will demonstrate your pertinent skills, and help the interviewer imagine you actually working for them.
4. Research the company and the position you are applying for. Have a list of questions to ask the interviewer. Fuller says as well as checking out the organisation on the Internet, ask friends and colleagues (without giving your new job plans away) for any tidbits about the company to help you gauge how it is perceived in the marketplace.
5. Read the company's annual reports, mission statements etc. Think about why you would be a good fit for them, what value you could add, and how they could benefit from your particular skills. "If you can tie any of this into their vision statements, goals and priorities, you will shine," Fuller says.
Rad more: How to tackle tricky interview questions
Top interview mistakes
Insider's guide to interviews
Look the part
An important part of winning over the interviewer is to look like you'll fit in with the company. To do this, research what you should wear on the day.
Fuller says never wear a new outfit. "This isn't the time to feel uncomfortable, or wary of what happens when you sit down!" she says, adding you should pick clothes that enhance and express your personal style.
"Dress 10 percent better than your contemporaries would in that organisation, in a manner that 'fits' their cultural codes, without having to lose your own individualistic touches or quirkiness," Fuller explains.
Read more: Dressing for success
You also need to use your body language on the day to show that you are confident and capable of doing the job on offer. Show that you are listening and interested by maintaining eye contact at all times. Be sure to address all people in the room and always smile. Avoid nervous gestures, such as tapping your feet, playing with your hair or crossing and un-crossing your legs. It's also a great idea to practise how you will sit and address those interviewing you.
Read more: Body language and interviews
On the day
Prepare yourself best by performing some deep-breathing exercises beforehand stop off in the toilets for some big breaths.
Fuller advises that once you've met your interviewer, walk purposefully to your seat, and take a breath before responding to questions.
"It means that you are fully oxygenating your brain, [will] have time to reflect on their question, and your voice will sound relaxed and competent," she says.
Fuller also believes it's a great idea to bring lots of' "show and tell" to dump on the table visuals such as successful projects, testimonials, and examples of how you work.
"If you 'freeze' or struggle at any time in the interview, you have ready-made props to distribute, ensuring that in the compressed time at your disposal you make every minute impressive."
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