Whilst waiting, stand rather than sit. This avoids being seen struggling out of chair (designer chairs in showcase foyers are full of potential hazardous moments of inelegance) and allows you to make level eye contact straight away when you are met. Standing also creates a feeling of being in control and confidence. This is an excellent tried and tested interview technique.
Smile as you enter, make eye contact and shake hands. Smiling has a subliminal effect on all of us, you will feel more positive and the interviewer/s will warm to you. A well rehearsed (firm, but not vice-like) handshake shows confidence and good social skills. This one simple interview tip will also help mask any nerves you may be feeling.
Put your coat on an adjacent chair and your business bag on the floor. Do not sit with them on your lap, it will make you look as though you are poised to leave before you have even started. It will also simply encumber you and prevent you feeling at ease.
Sit comfortably and be mindful of distracting habits. Sitting comfortably is different to making yourself too comfortable though. Sit upright, not eager and forward (you’ll just look nervous) or lean backwards (it’ll appear too casual). If you know that you are prone to fiddling, keep things out of reach and find a restful position for your hands. The odd hand gesture to reinforce a point can be effective, too much gesticulating will be off putting.
Accept a drink only if you anticipate you will need it (for a dry throat), but opt for a simple glass of water. It may be part of their company etiquette to ask if you would like a drink, but in reality no-one really wants to make a cup of tea. A drink can be a distraction, especially the sound of nervous clattering china.
Don’t take notes. Many people are under the impression it makes them look more serious about the role, it doesn’t. It simply stops the flow of the meeting and any growing rapport, it also suggests a non-retentive memory.
Don’t have a copy of your CV or the job description with you. Often people like to have something with them as a safety prop, there are simply better alternatives if needed. Having to refer to a CV to when talking about your career will raise not just the odd eye brow, but real concerns.
Thorough advance interview preparation is of course essential, from researching the company, to thinking about the questions you are likely to be asked and questions you want to ask. If you feel that you would benefit from some specific interview preparation or coaching to develop your interview technique, we would be delighted to assist you. Call us on 01252 725 509, we look forward to speaking with you.