In partnership with the Financial Services National College (FSNC).
It's natural to be nervous before an interview. But if you take some time to prepare, you will improve your chances of performing at your best. The following interview tips will help even the most inexperienced interviewees shine:
- Professional presentation. Smart or smart casual clothing is recommended. First impressions are important but being "over-dressed" or uncomfortable may distract you during the interview.
- Research. Knowing a thing or two about us, our business, culture and products will assist you in the interview. This will show us that you have taken time to research us, that you are keen on the opportunity and have given the interview due care and attention. Spend some time on this website, review the Society's social media presence, visit a branch or speak to someone you know that has or currently works here.
- Common questions. Consider the most likely questions that you are going to be asked before you get to the interview. This way you will be prepared and won’t get stuck for something to say. The most frequent interview questions can be prepared for, not only about the vacancy you are applying for but on your strengths and weaknesses for example.
- Focus. On the day of an interview, allow plenty of time to get there without rushing or being stressed by delays. Take everything you might need such as a notebook, pen, a copy of your CV or portfolio of relevant previous work. Remember to look your interviewer directly in the eye, focusing on what they are saying.
- Smile. A smile can be a powerful tool at a first meeting. Even if you feel nervous, a smile will ensure you come across as friendly and relaxed.
- Ask something. Never say you have nothing to ask at the interview. It makes you appear unprepared or disinterested. Prepare some questions to ask your interviewer.
- Make notes. Even if you are taking everything in, making notes creates the impression that you are paying attention and that you are interested in the role. This is one of the best interview techniques for people who want to come across as conscientious.
- Keep calm. Even if you get distracted during the interview by a difficult question, try to regain your composure and move on. All is not lost if something goes wrong. Remember that it may have tripped up other interviewees too.
- Be honest. It's very easy to over promise or exaggerate to impress a prospective employer, however you could be asked further detail on a subject you are unable to answer which could give the impression you are over-confident in your experience or abilities. Being eager to learn more about something is a positive thing!
- End positively. When the interview is approaching an end, try to conclude on a positive note. This could be as simple as saying something like, “I look forward to hearing from you.” or "Thank you for taking the time to see me today."