Physical Preparation

I Get an early night . If you're too nervous to sleep, make yourself lie still with your eyes shut I Exercise for a couple of days before the interview. Nothing too strenuous, just enough to make you look energetic and vigorous

I On the morning of your interview get up at least half an hour earlier than you think you should. Drink orange juice, only eat light foods, and don't smoke The smell of greasy or cooked foods and cigarettes shouldn't be hanging on you when you walk in I Use only very light cologne or perfume. No one likes an employee who smells like a skunk Everyone has different tastes and your loving of Eau de Musk might not be shared universally I Do use an antiperspirant deodorant . I Your hair should look freshly washed and neat. If it's long, tie it back or it could fall over your face if you get shy I Always be freshly shaved . No stubble . Beards are hugely controversial, too Sport one at your peril unless you're applying for a job at a ZZ Top convention

I Turn up at least ten minutes before the interview time, longer if it's with a big company with a complex security system. I If possible, hang around near the company before your interview to find out what employees are wearing and dress slightly more formally than they do I Go online to find out everything you can about the company and its products Never assume you know a company just because you see its name often—big brand names often have subsidiaries that make totally different products

I During your wait at reception always act as though you're in the actual interview. Sit well and be polite . If possible thumb through company magazines that are often left on reception tables I If there are other applicants waiting, don't sit discouraging yourself by trying to work out who looks better than you do . Take a copy of The New York Times, folded to the crossword . Pretend to fill it in and pretend to time yourself when you pretend to finish It always psychs out the opposition I If possible, go to the restroom when you arrive to check your hair, straighten your tie, check your flies, and so on I Take a businesslike bag only, no handbags or carrier or plastic bags

I Carry your bag in your left hand so the right is free for handshakes

I Practice your sitting and standing body language at home in front of the mirror, wearing your interview outfit . I Keep pockets stitched up to prevent you from stuffing your hands into them I Never have a balled tissue shoved up your sleeve. I Take a moment before you walk into the interview room. Run through your Power Pose I Enter the room well. Step into the room, in front of the door, and close it behind you without looking back

I Smile and shake but let them offer their hand first . If they don't offer, don't bother I Always offer a firm, cool, dry hand. If you get sweaty, wipe it with a baby wipe before you go into the room I Try to shake hands with everyone in the room. I Use eye contact as you shake.

I Wait to be offered a chair before you sit down. If they forget, ask first

I You can move your chair slightly. Turn it toward the interviewers or move it slightly further forward if it seems too far away . Never pull it right up to their desk as though you're about to eat lunch I Never touch their desk or place anything on it . If you're at a board table you can place your hands or notes on the table

I Sit into the back of the chair, back upright but not rigid, and legs lightly crossed. Place your elbows on the armrest and lightly clasp your hands on your lap I Use active listening skills when they talk . I Use a listening and thinking pause before you answer each question. This will make your answers appear honest rather than slick Flick your eyes downward and slightly to your left This will look reflective If you raise your gaze upward you could appear to be stumped by the question, or to be making up your answer

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