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How to excel at interview
With our deep insights into the interview process from both sides of the table, you can trust us to give you all the advice you need to perform at your best at interview. Here’s our guide to giving the best possible account of yourself on the day.
1. Stay sharp and look the part
Keep your outfit smart, professional and simple. Also take a copy of your CV with you, along with any other paperwork asked for ahead of the interview.
2. Switch off your phone
Don’t forget to turn off your mobile before you enter the room. If it goes off during the interview without an exceptionally good reason, it comes across as unprofessional and disrespectful.
3. Pay attention to your body language
Research shows that we form our strongest impressions of people in the first 3-4 minutes of meeting them. Other studies reveal that what we actually say at interview accounts for less than 10% to the overall impression we make. So be aware of the body language you’re projecting. Walk with purpose, shake hands firmly and look attentive by sitting up straight.
4. Maintain good eye contact
Hold the interviewer’s gaze as much as possible during your conversation. It shows interest in the questions they’re asking as well as confidence in your answers.
5. Don’t rush your answers
A good interviewee speaks clearly, confidently and in no particular hurry. If you feel you’re speaking too quickly, take a breath or a sip of water and purposely slow yourself down. Don’t be afraid to take time to compose your thoughts before answering – the interviewer will like knowing that you’re not just coming back with prepared responses.
6. Be positive
Avoid saying anything negative about yourself, colleagues, current or previous employers or the company you’re talking to. Don’t allow any cynicism to creep into your answers.
7. Mirror the interviewer
Listen carefully, show interest and use what you find out. As naturally as possible, try to echo some of the key words and style of language used by the interviewer – it shows you’re engaged with what they’re saying and what they’re looking for.
8. Be wary of money talk
Don’t raise the issue of salary yourself but do be clear about your expectations and ready for the interviewer to introduce the topic. Whatever happens, don’t get into an argument about salary. Wait until the offer letter arrives and discuss it with your Commercial Finance People consultant.
9. What happens next?
Don’t forget to ask about the next steps in the process and find out when you can expect to hear back. Whatever happens next, it pays to remember that every interview is good practice and you’ll have learned something useful even if you’re not offered the job
The full set of the Commercial Finance People candidate guides are available here as a single downloadable booklet – click to view or right click to download The Guide.
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