Presenting yourself well for an interview

Dressing well, looking professional and appearing confident and positive are all key to impressing a potential employer in an interview.

Body language is one of the biggest aspects as this tells an employer a lot about a person. Our personality, feelings and emotions are often shown through our body language whether we are aware of it or not, so its very important to master this before an interview to ensure you are presenting yourself well.

Here are some tips to ensuring you have a successful interview:

1. Shake hands after the interviewer has offered theirs to you. This implies deference. Remember, always shake with your right hand and offer a firm clear handshake, but not for too long. 

2. If you need to shut the door, do it without turning your back on the interviewers, and then sit down without turning away. Take your coat off before you go into the interview and then if you need to take off your suit jacket, it's polite to ask if thats ok during an interview.  Don't be casual or look too at home, it looks over familiar and unprofessional.

3. Smile while you shake hands and make eye contact, you may not be happy to be at a job interview, but think of someplace you would like to be, or something you would like to be doing, that will bring a genuine smile to your eyes!

4. When you sit down, make sure your chair is where you want it to be first. Sit square to the interviewer so that you don't have to twist in the chair to see them.

5. Sit up straight during your interview, with your back against the seat (unless this means your feet dangle if you are short).  Sit still. Shuffling around in the chair can make you appear as if you lack self awareness and self control. Slouching can make you look too casual or even worse slovenly. If you have taken in your CV, make sure you don't fiddle with it or with the paperclip. Try to be reasonably still. It’s OK to lean forward to emphasise a point or tilt your head;  just try not to jitter.

7. Put your hands in your lap if there is no table and on the table if there is. Use them for emphasis only. No pointing as this appears aggressive. No arm crossing as this appears defensive. No hands in pockets.

8. Cross your legs once, at the calves, not across the knees, crossing them across the thigh looks arrogant and tucking your legs under the chair looks like you have something to hide.

9. Engage with all of a panel. Look everyone  in the eye, not just the person who is asking the questions, everyone in the room is listening. And sometimes the most important person may decide not to ask any questions.

10. Stay in control of your facial expressions, even if the question is a tough, beware of eye rolling, frowning, pulling back to indicate dislike.  

11. Keep your behaviour neutral not sexual, no flicking your hair, pursing your lips, licking your lips, tilting your head, holding eye contact too long. You know how it works!  For professional roles you need to appear like a serious person with a serious brain. 

 

We hope this helps you to make the most of your job interviews and come across well to a prospective employer.

Job Interview TipsJob InterviewPresenting YourselfBody Language

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