Give yourself a power makeover

Experts tips on impressing during your next job interview

Inspire and Mentor
Inspire and Mentor
(Image credit: Rex Features)

Experts tips on impressing during your next job interview

Struggling to impress in an interview? You’re not the only one with 2.46 million Britons still struggling to find work. To help with the process, we spoke to various experts, from C.V. specialist to life coach, to get their top tips that will boost your confidence and help you rise up from the crowd.

THE C.V AND INTERVIEW EXPERT Helen Lacy, 34, founded and is co-writer of ‘175 CV Secrets’

Be confident Writing a good covering letter and CV is arguably the most important part of any job application. Make sure you always apply your abilities to the role. Open with ‘I am writing in response to the position of Training Manager because I feel my skills, background and experience are exactly what you need for this role.’

Don’t lie Never embroider the truth on your CV. One in four people lie about dates, job titles and qualifications and usually get found out during a toe-curling interview.

Make eye contact Avoiding a person’s eye suggests you are sly or shy – neither of which are desirable qualities. If facing an interview panel, give everyone equal eye contact.

Use body language It is important to connect with your interviewer. Sit slightly forward in your chair to show you’re enthusiastic. Don’t play with your hair or cross your legs. This will make you look defensive.

THE IMAGE CONSULTANT Laura Campbell, 42, founder of personal styling and shopping site has dressed some of the country’s most famous women.

It’s not all black and white Wearing black and white is too obvious and strays into waitress territory. Wear a colour that enhances your hair and skin tone and try mixing in different hues.

Keep it simple Add personality through carefully chosen accessories. A unique bag, scarf or metallic cuff can transform an outfit – just make sure you only wear one at a time.

Dress for the job Look at what other successful women in the field are wearing and mirror their style. If it’s worked for them, it will work for you.

Leave sexy at the door Layers of make-up and low-cut tops will only succeed in distracting the men and aggravating the women.

THE MEDITATION CONSULTANT Andy Puddicombe, 37, is co-founder of and provides meditation techniques for modern career people.

Be early Get to the interview 10 minutes early so you are not stressed. Sit comfortably with a straight back and your feet on the floor. Scan through your body slowly, focusing on the parts that feel relaxed.

Take deep breaths If you have no time to meditate then practice taking five deep breaths through your nose and out through your mouth. It’s impossible to concentrate on your breathing and worry at the same time.

Don’t force it People make the mistake of trying too hard to relax when they feel tense. By doing this you’re in fact creating even more ‘mental noise’.

Remain focused If your mind goes blank, bring yourself back into the moment by thinking about the job and why you want it. You will instantly become more focused on what you want to say.

THE LIFE COACH Jessica Rogers, 34, became a life coach in 2007 and founded her website to help people realize their goals.

Don’t panic Don’t apply for anything and everything that comes your way. See this as an exciting time for change – slow down and ask yourself who you are and what you want.

Don’t blame yourself It’s not you that’s redundant; it’s the job. Remind yourself of that whenever self-doubt creeps in.

Dedicate time Don’t spend every waking moment looking for job vacancies. Dedicate four or five hours to finding a job, then do something else that fulfills you.

Be positive Take your redundancy as an opportunity to try something new, like volunteering for a charity or helping a neighbour. This will help you identify your values and focus on what you want.

THE MENTOR Sally Cowdry, 39, has been Marketing Director for O2, UK’s leading mobile provider, since 2006.

Be proactive Don’t wait for vacancies to come to you. Only 50 per cent of jobs are advertised, so show initiative and write to companies on spec.

Highlight your achievements Don’t waste valuable CV space on job skills. Instead, list your biggest achievements and how they profited the company.

Build contacts Look to build personal relationships with your recruitment agencies. They may not have a role immediately, but are more likely to think of you when something pops up.

Network, network, network! Socialising may be the last thing on your mind, but by ringing round friends, meeting up with an old boss, or lining up work experience, you’re putting your name out there.

Know your stuff Thoroughly research the company you want to work for to avoid looking unprofessional in an interview. Don’t be caught off guard.