You really want that job and you are up against a lot of competition - what can you do to give yourself an advantage over others?

As a recruiter I can do up to 17 face to face interviews a week (this is after the telephone screenings which can be up to 10 or more a day). There are some candidates who impress me as soon as I see them and others start to impress me as we go through the interview process. Here are my tips on what impresses me at an interview.

Tip One - Look like a million dollars

Now I realise we are not all made to look like movie stars, however, there is something about someone who really takes the time with their personal presentation that makes a statement of confidence. So my first tip is 'get stylish'. If you are not sure how to do this then go search the internet and if you can afford it, hire someone to help you. Once you have a session with a personal stylist you have tools to use for the rest of your life. Many of my candidates arrive in casual clothing and this does not make a great impression on me at all. A smart suit says a lot.

Tip Two - Be confident

As a recruiter, we are not there to intimidate you, we are there to work for you. In my opinion, my candidates are my gold. So why be nervous? I make a big effort to relax my candidates during interview. Once they are relaxed and trust me, I get all sorts of information that I may not have been told if it were more formal. As the candidate, you are there to enquire about the position and decide whether this is what you really want or not, in other words, you are also interviewing the recruiter. So relax!

Tip Three - Ask Questions

Ask questions about the position you are applying for. At first, we do not normally tell the candidate who the company is until we have secured them an interview with the client. However, we do explain the culture, position and career path. As soon as the client asks for the candidate to attend an interview, I then give my candidate the company name and ask them to research it before the interview. I also groom them on the interview process and offer any assistance I can to help them make an impression with the client. I always encourage my candidates to have a list of questions for the client at the formal interview. This shows that the candidate really is interested in the company. So be prepared and armed with your questions.

Tip Four - Don't Chew Gum

Yes it happens! Watch your manners when attending interviews. Needless to say the gum chewers don't really impress me a great deal.

Tip Five - Brag - and keep Bragging!

My objective in interviewing candidates is to find out what they have achieved in their careers. At sometime during our interview I will say to them "OK, now I want you to brag to me about some of your best achievements and career highlights" - This is my most favoured question and I want to hear about every employee award they have received, how they have saved their employer money or time and even what they have done for their community. Make sure you have this information prepared before the interview. If your recruiter does not ask you this question, offer the information to them anyway.

Tip Six - Follow up with a thank you email or better still hand written note. This is a good way to impress both the recruiter and the client. I am a great believer in hand written thank you notes and keep boxes of cards on my desk. I write thank you notes to clients and candidates. It makes a great impression.

Author's Bio: 

Debbie Carr is the owner of a Professional Speaking Bureau and works also as a recruitment consultant. She is passionate about helping people achieve their best! To contact her or for recruitment