By Shraga Zaltzman

Have you ever found it difficult to sleep, eat and concentrate the night before an interview? For many of us the thought of going for a job interview can be a daunting and gruelling prospect. Despite having a fast heartbeat, clammy hands and ‘butterflies’ in your stomach it is perfectly natural to be nervous and is in fact your body’s natural way of meeting a challenge, and in small doses it can help you.

Being invited to an interview means you’ve passed the first test: your application must have made a good impression with your future employer. Employers only want to interview the people that they think can do the job and only about 10% of applicants are selected for interviews; so you have a realistic chance of getting the job! Now you need to prepare yourself for the interview to make sure you are successful at this stage.

Before your interview be sure to research the company as this will give you confidence should you be asked any question on what the company does. It will also allow you to ask questions to the employer. For instance what they do; who their clients are; what sort of organisation they are and what the job is likely to involve? It may also be useful to read a newspaper before your interview as many employers will expect you to show an awareness of the industry that the company works in.

During your interview your employer will be focusing on whether or not you match the requirements of the job, particularly focusing on your personal qualities, how well you express yourself and your motivation and enthusiasm. Your employers will already have an indication of these from your initial application to the organisation but now the interview will assess you in person. There aren’t any right or wrong answers to interview questions but it is how you come across which can be as in important as what you say. Remember that words are only 9% of communication so it is always important to get your body language right, maintaining good eye contact and a little smile every now and again won’t hurt.

To help you through your interview here are few useful hints and tips:

•Enter the room confidently and when introducing yourself shake hands firmly

•Be positive, friendly and enthusiastic

•Always be polite, and try to maintain eye contact with the person you are talking to

•Do not lose interest and ask questions as well as answering clearly and concisely

•Answer questions as fully as you can, avoid just saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’

•Provide examples to prove your skills and achievements

•Always tell the truth

•Ask if you don’t understand a question

•Sell yourself - get your good points across

At the end of your interview it is important that you leave the interviewers with a good impression of you. No matter how bad you think the interview was always act as if it has been a good interview. Say thank you to everyone. Say goodbye to everyone. Shake hands. Look at people and leave with a spring in your step.

Do not get too despondent if you do not get the job. Interview techniques are difficult and the more practice you have the better you will be in the future. If you’re curious as to why you didn’t get the job, it might be useful to phone up and get some feedback. It may help you for your next interview.

Shraga Zaltzman is Managing Director of TrainE-TraidE. To find out how TrainE-TraidE can help you or your business please call 020 8371 3280.