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Top 5 Interview Tips from Raw Talent Academy

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Our recent competition across Twitter and Facebook invited you to send in your top interview tips, for the chance to win £50 in gift vouchers.

We chose our favourite, but it was interesting to see the same themes crop up again and again too, so we’ve rounded up five of the best general tips from all of the submissions we received.

1. Practice Makes Perfect

The winning tip was from Marnie on Twitter, who said: “Discuss your topics beforehand with a friend, it will stop you hesitating in the real thing! Consider it a dress rehearsal!”

It’s really good advice, especially if you don’t have much interview experience, to talk through with a more experienced friend the questions you expect to be asked, and the answers you’re planning to give.

2. SMS SOS

Nobody wants their interview interrupted, so get into the habit of silencing your phone before you walk into the interview room.

Flight Mode might do it, or switching to a totally silent ringtone profile, but to be absolutely certain a belated ‘good luck!’ SMS won’t ruin your chances, just switch your phone off as you’re about to enter the room.

3. Turn the Tables

Interestingly, some of you took interview confidence to the next level – even suggesting that if you’re an exceptional candidate, you should ask the interviewer to ‘sell’ the role to you.

After all, if you have particularly rare or high-level skills, there is a very real likelihood that demand for candidates like you outstrips supply, so don’t be afraid to make the most of this where it applies.

4. Find Your Zen

It’s hard to force yourself to be calm when you’re nervous, but plenty of people simply fake it – confidence on the outside doesn’t have to be matched by total self-confidence on the inside.

You can help yourself by using your hands confidently, whether that means waving them expressively as you speak, or clasping them neatly on the table – just so long as you’re not holding a copy of your CV in a wildly shaking grip, you should send a positive impression.

5. The Last Word

Plenty is said about how to close an interview well, and if you can pre-plan some relevant questions about the company you are applying to, that will always help.

Other suggestions you made included turning at the door on your way out, so your face is the last thing the interviewers see (and not your backside!) or following up with a thank you call or email a few hours later, to help you stick in their mind as an enthusiastic and appreciative candidate.

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