How to get through a job interview and make a good impression
> The first 20 seconds are crucial
It really all can hang on the first 20 seconds of the interview. "First impressions often stick," says Daniel. Try these tactics, adopted by successful salesmen:
- Adopt a dynamic, determined walk for the 20 steps it takes you to walk up to the employer or into the office.
- Concentrate really intensely for the first 20 seconds.
- Look the interviewer in the eye (fix your gaze on his or her outer eyebrows if you're not comfortable staring them out).
- Prepare the first 20 words you're going to say, such as 'Good morning Mr Bloggs, pleased to meet you."
Make sure you arrive 2-5 minutes early, smile, shake hands firmy and energetically, and look the part. "Your whole attitude has to give out a positive message to the recruiter: 'I'm pleased to be here and think it's going to go well.'"
> How to handle trick questions and difficult topics
Prepare your answers to tricky or embarrassing questions (failures, gaps in your employment history, lack of experience) well in advance. "Reply objectively, in less than 20 seconds - don't flounder! - then change the subject," says Daniel. "Recruiters are often more keen to see how you react to stress than anything else."
> Turn the tables
Preparing your answers is essential, but preparing questions is just as important. "Candidates are judged more on the questions they ask than the answers they give," says Daniel. Turn the tables and ask the interviewer relevant questions (How is the company structured? What are your needs?).
Tip: "Bring along a portfolio of your achievements, wherever possible," says Daniel. This is much more effective than a CV and shows off your skills in more detail.
Don't slag off the company you're trying to leave (or have left) to justify why you want the job! Be professional about it.
"If you're asked why you want to leave your company, give a few sensible reasons and then concentrate on commmunicating how keen you are to join this new company."
Get more tips on job interviews in our guide.