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The interview day

Published on Friday, 24 May 2013
Walter Ellicott

It's true you should polish your shoes on the day of your interview, but what other basic elements should you consider?

Arrive on time. Work out how you are going to get to the interview and how long it will take to get there.

Arrive at least 10 minutes early. This will give you time to relax and collect your thoughts, particularly if your interview is on a humid day.

If you are unexpectedly delayed, contact your prospective employer to explain. Switch your mobile off before you enter the premises. Smokers should resist the temptation to have a cigarette.

When you arrive, you will meet a receptionist or someone appointed to receive you. State, in a clear and friendly manner, your name, the time of your appointment and the name of the person you are meeting. It does no harm to be nice to the receptionist. You never know - they may put in a good word to your prospective boss after you leave.

Appearances matter. You are often judged before you've even uttered a word. Decide your outfit in advance. Ideally, it should be a suit or equivalent business wear. Dress to project the message that you are a professional - someone the firm should take seriously.

Smile as much as you can but make it look natural. Give each interviewer a firm handshake at the start and end of the interview.

Maintain good eye contact and remember that body language is important. Sitting up straight can help project an air of confidence. Finally, try not to be too nervous, although some nerves are natural and can actually help you to perform.

Walter Ellicott, managing director, Ellicott Long

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