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Job interview tips and tricks

The best way to ace an interview is to be prepared. Get inside knowledge on what to expect and what you can do to make a great impression.

The most important thing you need to know about interviews is that success is not down to natural talent. You might think that the job you're applying for is made for you, but if you don't prepare, you'll miss out. And you might think that the interview is a pointless long shot, but with the right preparation, you can surprise yourself.

Practice interviews are a great way to prepare, because you have to actually put together an answer for another person instead of just thinking about it. Practice with anyone: parents, teachers, siblings, friends, even pets. They don’t have to know anything about the subject – they are invaluable in revealing your body language, eye contact, and any nervous tics that you never knew you had.

If possible, recording your practice interviews may help. You can check you progress and watch whether you come across well to the interview panel, and you'll notice things that you can't see or hear when you're speaking.

Before your interview, scrutinize your CV or application form and expect questions on anything you have put down. If you say that you're experienced in an area, expect to face tough questions about it. If you've got through to an interview, the employer thinks your application was good enough, but you need to be able to back up everything you wrote in person.

Show what you know

You can turn the interview around to your advantage if you are well practiced. Talk about what you had gained from the experiences mentioned on your application rather than just reeling a list off of duties you’ve done. You could also try to link your experiences to something you already know about the place you're applying to or to current developments in the sector.

Don’t try to bluff it

Now and then, you'll get a question that stops you dead in your tracks. When this happens, it's tempting to try to bluff - but most interviewers won't be fooled.

If you don't understand the question, don't be afraid to ask questions of your own to work out exactly what the interviewer means. 

If it's a factual question and you simply don't know the answer, you might as well be honest. The chances that you'll guess the answer are tiny, and the time you spend bluffing will be much better spent moving on to areas where you're stronger.

Smile!

Last of all, remember to smile! Interviewers aren't just looking for someone with the right skills - they're looking for someone who can fit in to their team and work well with others. You need to convince them that you're the kind of person they want to work with, and that you're excited about the chance to work with them.

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