Interview Techniques

On the day of the interview make sure you know where you are going and allow plenty of time to get there.

Take the address / location map for the interview and make sure you know the name of the interviewer. Take their phone number so that if you are delayed you can call in advance to warn them.

Whilst it is important not to be late it is also important not to be too early. Aim to arrive in reception no more than 10 – 15 minutes before the interview. This will give you time to sign in / go to the toilet etc. and be comfortable and ready for the interview and the appointed time. If you arrive too early the receptionist is likely to call to advise you have arrived, even if you say you are early, potentially interrupting and annoying the interviewer.

Dress smartly and conservatively and avoid too much perfume / after shave / make –up and avoid wearing too much jewellery and always remove visible body piercings.

Beware of how you act within the reception area; off hand remarks or inappropriate behaviour will more than likely be reported back.

When the interviewer comes to collect you be confident and enthusiastic without going over the top. Give a good firm hand shake and make eye contact.

During interview look to mirror the interviewer. If they are vibrant and enthusiastic make sure you respond in a lively manner; if you are being too loud and they are backing off tone down a little.

Research indicates that what you say accounts for only around 7% of communication; your tone, facial expression and body language account of the other 93%. Whilst we do not suggest you have to be an expert in body language you should be aware of signal you may be unwittingly giving off.

Below are some of the more common elements of body language and their interpretation.


Brisk, erect walk = Confidence

Sitting with legs crossed, foot kicking slightly = Boredom

Walking with hands in pockets, shoulders hunched Dejection, Lack of self confidence

Hand to cheek = Evaluation, thinking

Touching, slightly rubbing nose = Rejection, doubt, lying

Rubbing the eye = Doubt, disbelief

Pinching bridge of nose, eyes closed = Negative evaluation

Tapping or drumming fingers = Impatience

Patting/fondling hair = Lack of self-confidence

Tilted head = Interest

Biting nails = Insecurity, nervousness

Pulling or tugging at ear = Indecision

It is not uncommon for an employers and candidates to come out of interviews with entirely different views of what happened. Perhaps the candidate is excited about the role but the employer didn’t think they were interested or the client thought the candidate was a bit arrogant and the candidate comes out saying they think they could learn so much in the role. It is important therefore just to take a moment to consider how you present and portray yourself.

Never interrupt the interviewer but do ask the questions you have prepared and take notes. Both of these signal you are taking the process seriously.

At the end of the interview don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer if they have any concerns or reservations about your ability to do the job. If they have this is your opportunity to address and resolve them immediately to ensure you leave them with a positive impression. Even a slight niggle can become a big issue in the interviewers mind if it is left unaddressed.

It is also good to ask what the interviewer’s timescales are, what the next stage will be and if you will be invited back. They may not have decided yet but again it demonstrates your interest and if in sales your ability to close.