On the day

How interviewers assess candidates

  • 7% content of answers
  • 38% tone of voice
  • 55% body language/ physical presentation

As can be seen from the above statistics, first impressions count- people tend to form an opinion of someone within a few minutes of meeting them. 

It is therefore important to dress appropriately and present yourself in the best possible light. Arrive on time, be pleasant and make a good impression on everyone you meet.

Dressing appropriately

  • It is important to create a professional impression at your interview.
  • You should feel comfortable and confident in what you are wearing.
  • Different industries may have slightly different dress codes; nonetheless it is always wise to err on the side of formality.

Body language

  • Start and end the interview with a firm handshake with the interviewer(s).
  • A friendly expression, occasional smile where appropriate and good posture will indicate a positive approach.
  • Don't fidget.
  • Maintain good eye contact- if there is more than one person interviewing you, look at the person who asked you the question when responding, but glance at the other interviewers from time to time.
  • Leaning forward shows you are open and interested.
  • Uncrossed arms indicate a willingness to listen.

During the interview

  • Be convincing with your answers and able to back them up with real life experiences.
  • Be enthusiastic, positive and natural in your answers.
  • Pay careful attention to the questions they ask, not the ones you wish they had asked.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for clarification if you do not understand the question.
  • Speak slowly and clearly .
  • Expand upon your answers- never just answer yes or no but avoid going off on a tangent.
  • Be truthful but positive- if you have to present negative information (for example a past failure) say how you have learned from it or how you overcame it.

Does your answer have the 'STAR' quality?

Situation- did you describe a relevant situation and is it clear?
Task- what was the objective of the situation or task?
Action- how did YOU go about tackling the situation and what was YOUR role in this
Results- what was the outcome and were your objectives met?

After the interview

  • Reflect on your experience and what you have learned.
  • What are your impressions on the employer? Do you want to work for them?
  • Make a note of the questions asked for future reference- could you answer them better next time?
  • Ask when you should expect to hear back from them. If they have not contacted you within this time frame try contacting them to find out about your progress.
  • If you are unsuccessful, ask them for feedback to see how you could improve next time.