“If you do get to the interview stage,” says Darke, “you've simply got to be convincing on the day. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, particularly your answer to the question, 'why do you want to change careers’?”
Here are a few other pointers for giving interviewers the right impression:
Make sure you know everything you need to about the company and the position you have applied for. This will help to show you are interested and that you will be able to easily answer any questions they may have about your understanding of the company.
Make sure you are prepared for any questions. Common interview questions include ‘why should we hire you?’ and ‘why do you want to work for the company?’ Plan a list of questions and work out in advance how you will reply in the interview.
Plan your travel ahead of time to make sure you arrive five to ten minutes before your interview starts. Make sure you turn your mobile phone off before you arrive. When your interviewer arrives, shake their hand, smile and make eye contact throughout your interview.
Many people make up their minds within the first few seconds of an interview from first impressions, so make sure you make eye contact, smile and remember the name/s of your interviewer.
Bring any relevant materials that may help you during the interview, such as your resume and a portfolio of work (if you have one). Remember to bring along a pen and notepad which will show that you are organised and prepared.
Don’t drag your answers out as the recruiter may lose focus. Keep your answers short and precise as this can help you catch your interviewer’s attention and allow you to stay in their mind as a potential employee.
Take the opportunity after your interview finishes to ask a few additional questions. This is the perfect opportunity to show your interest. Prepare some questions in advance, so you can use this time as effectively as possible.
After your interview, email your interviewer to thank them for their time and consideration. This will show that you are still interested, as well as considerate. It can also be used as a good opportunity to include references or anything else you that was discussed during the interview that you feel would help push you towards being their chosen candidate.
Want more tips on the interview process? Head to this interactive infographic for more tips.