How to ace an interview

Preparing for an interview can be daunting. Take a look at our top tips from business and networking expert Susie Kearley to maximise your chances of success

Preparing for an interview can be daunting. Take a look at our top tips from business and networking expert, Susie Kearley, to maximise your chances of success.

1. Get there on time
Allow plenty of time to get to the interview in case you get stuck in traffic, lost, need the loo etc! Have five or 10 minutes to rest and compose yourself on arrival – you don’t want to be rushed or flustered.

2. Knowledge is key
Make sure you have a good knowledge of what the company does. There is nothing worse than an interviewer asking you what you know about the company and being greeted by stumbling, hesitation, and a limp attempt at an answer.

3. Always be prepared
Be armed with a wealth of examples to demonstrate how you respond to difficult situations. Remember practice makes perfect – make time for mock interviews. You want to be sailing through tricky questions by the time it’s your interview.
 
4. Use the STAR approach: Situation, Task, Action and Result
Prepare for your interview by providing examples of competency in any given situation – the STAR approach is a good way of demonstrating your skills. It’s simple, but it works:

Situation – describe a situation in your former employment
Task – explain what needed to be done about it
Action – show how you addressed the task successfully
Result – explain how this benefited your employer

5. Breath (normally!)
Taking deep breaths can actually make you more stressed – it’s better just to to breathe steady, smile at the interviewer and have confidence. It helps if you can establish common ground at the start, but don’t force it!

7. Smile
Try to relax, be positive and never say bad things about a former employer.

8. Dress the part
Dress in line with the company style and if in doubt, smart is best. Go easy on the perfume, as strong fragrances can put interviewers off, and keep make-up conservative.

Visit Susie’s website at www.susiekearley.co.uk

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