It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first interview or your 100th, every interview is different, so it’s important you’ve got the basics covered. Give yourself a head start against the competition with these seven pointers.

Get interview ready

Body language

First impressions count and body language is key: maintain eye contact, give your interviewer a firm handshake and smile. Remember: think about what’s appropriate to wear based on the position you’re applying for.

“When practicing for my interview I used a mirror, it helped me make sure I appeared confident and was maintaining eye contact.”

Be prepared

Research the position, the interviewer, and yourself. Find out as much as you can about the role you are applying for – they’ll want to know why you want to work there and how much you know about the position you’ll be undertaking. If you have any uncertainty about the role, have questions ready on aspects that you need further clarity on. Who is your interviewer? Find out on LinkedIn so that you can tailor your answers appropriately. Know your CV inside out and back to front. Confirm what type of interview you’ll be attending: is it one-to-one or a panel of interviewers? Will you have any tests to complete on the day? If you’re well researched in all areas, you’ll be more confident, and after all, confidence is key to success.

Be positive and passionate

Always try to frame your previous employment experiences in the best possible light and provide mature reasons for why you wish to leave your current job.

Prepare your unique selling point (USP)

Why should you get the job over someone else? A good way to prepare for this is to think of the three P’s: performance, potential, perseverance. Before your interview, understand the major skills you can bring to the role so you can sell yourself with confidence.

“Not having previous experience in the insurance industry, I really focused on and highlighted my transitional skills and strengths that proved why I would be successful in the role.”

How to stand out during your job

Ask questions

Think about things that would be useful to know, but are difficult to know from the outside. Why the position has become available, what the team culture is like and what training is offered are all good examples of questions that show you want to know more about the company and grow in your role.

“Asking questions during an interview was something I was a bit nervous about so I prepped a few questions about my interviewer’s position and how they experience the culture, this started a great conversation and was a really nice way to end the interview.”

Demonstrate with examples

When you’re answering questions, give examples of occasions where you can demonstrate the strengths you say you possess. It makes your claim more credible if you can give specific instances when you managed someone well or dealt with a tricky situation.  It is also good to demonstrate the results and impact you have had, and to have facts and figures to back these up.

Practice, practice, practice

Think about your interview beforehand and make sure you have some time to think about everything above. That way you’ll be prepared and confident that you can answer and deal with everything that they throw at you.  

If you do all these things well, you should have a much better chance of making a great impression and getting that AXA job you want. Good luck!