How to absolutely smash a job interview

First impressions are important; but how can you make the best impression on a potential employer and get them to employ you?

My first post-army job interview:

I have sweaty hands, a sweaty head and a dry mouth. I need water or I might die of dehydration. Why did I say no to the glass of water offered by the receptionist?? Because I didn’t want to seem greedy?? Oh god, he’s asking about qualifications and I totally lied on my CV; B in mathematics? I can’t even count to B. What are my strengths? Hmmm, I thought about this one! ‘Errrm..I’m strong?”

“Thanks Mr Webb – we’ll let you know”

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I hate job interviews. How can someone that I don’t even know, sit opposite and judge me in 30 minutes. I used to get really nervous but I have since improved after meeting going for a job interview with Nick Broughton at www.supergrad.org.uk. He taught me a great deal about interview etiquette and how to behave like a normal person during the interview. Since then, I’ve had a whole load of interviews and I usually manage to get the job. I am no expert in the field of job interviews but I have a lot of experience.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind


  1. The smell

First of all; wear light deodorant and don’t smoke directly before the interview. You might be in an enclosed office for the interview and some people detest the smell of smoke. Bad first impressions will lead to you not getting that call. Don’t overdo it on the cologne, a little spray doesn’t hurt but the interviewer doesn’t want to be overwhelmed by your powerful scent.


  1. The look

Don’t wear props and don’t dress casually. Dressing like an American football player isn’t going to make them think you are a team player. Similarly, whatever you do, don’t take a plastic bag to a job interview. Dress to impress but don’t dress like a prostitute or a pimp and keep it simple. Dress for the job in hand and don’t turn up in something stupid. If you are struggling you should always asks a trusted friend or relative for a second opinion. I like to wear a plain, well-fitting suit and a smart tie; no piano ties.


  1. The greeting

A firm handshake is extremely important; there is nothing more off-putting than a limp-wristed hand-shaker. I have a limp-wristed handshaking friend and I dread meeting him because it feels like someone is putting a.. something else in your hand. You don’t want to break their hand with a vice-like grip, but have a firm handshake and maintain eye contact. Don’t go for the kiss if it’s a female interviewer, even if she is really hot. Turn up at least 15 minutes early and don’t ever be late; you definitely won’t get the job. Don’t send someone in your place to show that you are skilled at delegation. Don’t wink at people; I have a weird habit of winking at people and it can make people feel uncomfortable.


  1. The interview

Don’t lie about your qualifications; they will find out eventually. Don’t tell them you failed Religious Education because you only worship productivity. Don’t try to be hilariously funny and don’t swear. Do try to get the message across about how hard you are willing to work, how much you would like the opportunity to work for the company and try to emphasize your qualities. If you flunked school, tell them about your work ethic. If you have great grades; use them and explain how hard you worked for them. Don’t be overly ambitious; some interviewers might think you are going for their job.

Think about the questions they will ask you and rehearse honest answers. It’s good to be yourself, but sometimes it’s better to be a more refined you.


  1. The departure

Make a closing statement and tell the interviewer that you won’t let them down if they give you the opportunity. Don’t make a speech or anything, but leave them with a good final impression. Another firm handshake and absolutely no winking. Remember not to fart, burp, flirt or threaten and you stand a better job of getting the call you want.

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Best and worst interview experiences? Let me know on Facebook!

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