How to: Ace your interview with ease

Monicha Tully speaks with industry experts to get top tips on how to nail the interview and bag the job of your dreams. 

Feeling sick, clammy hands and knots in your stomach – it must be time for that job interview.

 With 2.5 million unemployed in the UK, competition is fierce for every job and the pressure is on, especially when you only have 30 minutes to sell yourself and impress.

It can be daunting to know that you will be fighting for that position against 100 other candidates.

A top expert in the employment field gives KU students the best advice to help them shine above the rest and nab that job.

Emma Adler, head of resourcing at Sony Music says: “Different companies and roles have different requirements when looking for ideal qualities in a candidate.

“In my opinion, having great commercial acumen, excellent communication skills, emotional intelligence, being innovative and a willing team player will get you far in any career.”

So whether you are applying for a part-time job or getting ready for a graduate role, you may need all the help you can get to be the best.

Here, Mrs Adler gives top tips on the dos and don’ts when it comes to preparing for and behaving during that all-important interview.

She says: “Preparation is everything. From planning your route in advance to eating a proper breakfast beforehand, leave nothing to chance.

“Gather as much information as possible on the company. I also recommend preparing a set of questions to ask about the company and the role that you are applying for at the end of the interview.  It shows genuine interest and we acknowledge it, believe me.”

Getting the right references could make or break the deal with your potential employers.

Mrs Adler says: “Be very careful who you choose as your referee.

“I once rang a previous employer who was unaware that their employee was leaving their current position.

“That was rather awkward and the employer refused to give them a reference afterwards.

“It is a good idea to check that you have a good relationship with your referee before suggesting them.”

“A young man had his CV scrunched into his pocket…he handed it to me in a ball ”   

It is fundamental that all of the documents you bring are in good condition.

Poorly presented documents look unprofessional and could cost you your opportunity.

Mrs Adler says: “I once interviewed a young man who had his CV scrunched into his pocket, when asked to produce it he handed it to me in a ball.

“It was a perfect indication that he was not organised and did not have the right attitude.”

Prospective employers visualise how you would fit into their work environment so first impressions you make always count. Mrs Adler says: “Always lean towards the smarter dress code. If you have any doubts, you cannot go wrong with a suit.

“It is better to be too smart rather than not smart enough.

“I once interviewed a young woman who wore a heavy metal t-shirt with the words ‘I F*** Like a Beast’ emblazoned on it. In terms of interview attire it does not get more inappropriate than that.”

A lady I was interviewing leant over the desk, took my hand…and told me that she was a lesbian ”  

Expert business trainer, Hazel Pak, believes it all begins with the right handshake. She says: “Extend your hand and smile but ensure you maintain eye contact at all times.

“A sweaty, limp handshake is never welcome.  Practice your handshake if necessary.

Mrs Pak explains how all interviews should be conducted in a formal manner.

“I once interviewed a woman who started calling me ‘babe’ halfway through the interview, it was highly unprofessional and I terminated the interview early because of it,” she says.

“Another time, a lady I was interviewing leant over the desk, took my hand in hers, looked into my eyes and told me that she was a lesbian and was struggling to come to terms with it. Although I empathised with her situation, professionally it was unacceptable.”

Mrs Pak also explains establishing good rapport with the interviewer allows candidates to demonstrate their skills to the best of their ability.

She says: “Usually if you feel like your interviewer likes you, they probably do. But if they repeat or rephrase questions that have previously been asked, it demonstrates that the candidate may not be making the required responses.”

Above all, it is important to be yourself. Everyone is nervous during interviews; if you let your personality shine, you are on the right path to the perfect job or even your career. 

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