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You may have all the qualities, skills and knowledge your potential employer is looking for but how do you make sure you communicate this in your interview? The words in your answer and how you choose to differentiate yourself in the verbal information you deliver are important, but they are only part of the performance. A large part of the success of your interview comes down to your non-verbal and presentation skills including body language, pace and volume, how you engage the interviewer and how you use your nerves in the interview.

We want to highlight that we are not suggesting you act out of character and not ‘be yourself’ in your interview. We just want you to be prepared and ready to present your best self. Interview performance skills can be learned, and preparation and practice help refine these skills and lead to them appearing, and feeling, natural.

First impressions count. It is hard to immediately feel calm and confident in an interview, but by making eye contact with all interviewers or looking at the camera for online interviews, standing or sitting straight and, in a face-to-face interview, a firm handshake you make a good start at appearing confident. It is expected that you will be nervous. Can you use or control your nerves to elevate your performance rather than compromise it? This is a very useful skill to master.

Don’t talk too much! This is something we concentrate on with a lot of doctors.  You might have a lot you want to tell them or maybe you are prone to waffling when formulating your thoughts or when nervous.  The aim is for you to answer the question asked in a way where you have identified the most important information and present it in a way where your points are powerful, stand out and are not buried in additional information that is not as relevant.

Know what to expect. Many medical interviews are timed, quite short or have a predetermined structure.  Often there is no time for chit-chat or even icebreakers making the impression you make through your performance and answers even more important. Being as familiar as possible with the format before the interview will help you target your preparation and practice.

Listen to the questions and absorb any other verbal or non-verbal information you can from the interviewers.  Buy yourself time to think so that you are ready with your key points and structure and ensure you are answering the question asked.

Finally, make the effort to dress professionally for the interview. Even though in many workplaces it has become more accepted to dress more casually, your interview is not the place to do this. 

If interviewing is not a strength for you the good news is that it is a skill you can acquire. To help you build muscle in this area you can schedule an interview training package.

 with one of our team. Or if you believe you are tracking well and want to test your preparedness you can schedule a ‘Practice Interview’.

If you have any further questions, please email us at [email protected].

Further reading in the 'it is interview season' series