Interview Techniques – how to make a great impression

Going for an interview? Or the thought of one fills you with dread and feeling a little bit nauseous?! Don’t worry, we have a few key tips to help you prepare …

  • Body Language- keep your posture open at all times, crossing your arms throughout the interview can come across as defensive and unwelcoming. You should make eye contact with the interviewer(s) – a great deal of communication is made using eye contact. Hand gestures are also a great way of aiding communication, helping you to reinforce key points. Keep your actions natural, smooth and measured.
  • Dress – make a good first impression by looking tidy , dressing formally and appropriately (avoid short dresses/skirts and jeans!).
  • Smile and give a strong, firm handshake
  • Research the company/interviewer – It’s crucial that you look into the company before you go to an interview. Research their aims, ethos and future goals and think about what you can bring to their company. If you have the name(s) of the interviewer(s), see if you can find out a bit about their interests and role. Proving that you’ve done some prior research demonstrates your enthusiasm and interest to work for this particular firm.
  • Answer questions succinctly –keep your answers concise and to the point and try not to waffle on! You may want to practice a few answers before the interview, preparing some questions you think may come up.
  • Think about your skills and experience, and what you can bring to the role – An interview is your chance to sell yourself to a prospective employer. Ensure you highlight your key skills and show examples of where they are demonstrated.
  • Take a pause before answering a question – If you are unsure of a question or feel quite nervous remember to take a moment before answering to really think about your answer and if you’re unsure always ask for further explanation.
  • Book an appointment with the Careers Service – you can arrange a session with CES to get some interview advice and to go through your application with them. For details on their drop-in hours visit:
  • Practice difficult interview questions – There will normally be a few more tricky questions asked during an interview such as ‘what is one of your weaknesses?’ or ‘where do you hope to be in five years’ time?’ so it’s best to prepare so you aren’t caught out! Take a look at this previous blog ( which addresses these type of questions and how best to tackle them!
  • Check to see what type of interview you are going for – telephone, panel, competency based interviews (skills tests), graduate employers use different kinds of interviews at different stages of the recruitment process. It’s important to know what to expect, if you are not sure, always contact their HR Department to confirm.