Eye contact with the interviewer(s) during the interview
You may have one, two or even three people interviewing you. Therefore, it is essential that you share your eye contact with all of them. If you don’t, at least one of the interviewers may feel ignored/excluded from your responses. Ensure this doesn’t happen as they will also be assessing you.
I would not recommend maintaining 100% eye contact with any interviewer at all times during your interview. This would be slightly strange. However, I would recommend maintain eye contact about 80-90% of the time.
Remember to smile
Although you are likely to be nervous, I recommend that you try to ensure you smile where appropriate throughout your interview. Not only will this suggest a certain degree of calmness, it will also enable you to show the interviewer that you are personable (an essential characteristic in any team).
Convey your enthusiasm for the role
Ensure that your voice, body language and responses to the questions asked reflect your enthusiasm to work for the firm you are interviewing with. If you have a quiet voice, try to ensure you project your voice during the interview and utilise your voice to emphasise key points. Ensure that your body language is positive and that you don’t give off any unwanted negativity by slouching, leaning or fiddling with a pen during your interview. If asked, “why do you want to work for us” ensure you inject your enthusiasm into your response and use persuasive language where appropriate. If they don’t believe what you want to work for the firm, the chances are you probably won’t get the chance!
What if I don’t know the answer to a question?
At some point throughout your interview you may be asked a question that you do not know the answer to. The worst thing you can do is to try to “bluff” an answer. The interviewer will know you are doing this (and so will you). The result will be that both of you will be unimpressed with your answer. Therefore, instead of bluffing, consider turning this negative situation into a positive. You could say “…that isn’t something that I am familiar with at present, however, I am familiar with something similar and am able to discuss this…? Or “that is not something that I have considered in sufficient detail to answer that question and regrettably I am not sufficiently informed to provide an adequate response at this time but would be happy to offer a response on another topic?”
If you think you are speaking too much, you probably are. Try to keep your answers punchy and persuasive. If you think that the interviewer would benefit from hearing more information to an answer you are providing offer this information e.g. “I would be happy to elaborate further if required/you prefer?” If you find yourself speaking too much try to bring your sentence to an appropriate end.
Avoid unprofessional language
Unprofessional language or slang would not normally be used in a client meeting, therefore it should not be used at an interview either. Try to limit/eradicate the use of unprofessional language or slang as this will not create the correct impression. Swearing should be avoided at all times (yes I have heard this in interviews).
There will normally be a point during the interview that the interviewer asks you “do you have any questions for me/us?” This is your opportunity to (i) demonstrate your knowledge of the firm but also (ii) to learn more about a firm you may be joining. Therefore, it is essential to utilize this opportunity. Asking too few or too many questions will not make a good impression. Depending on the time available, I recommend asking 4-6 questions.
Consider who your interviewer is and remember you are interviewing for a junior position (therefore questions on training and development are likely to be most appropriate). If you have an interview document, ask the interviewer(s) whether they mind you taking notes of their responses. Taking notes not only shows that you are interested in their responses but also enables you to cross refer back to their responses after the interview.