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Having a successful attitude

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Published: 21 January 2021

You got this in chalk

Job interviews are all about preparation. Of course, that includes knowing the company and the role, on top of understanding your own expertise and how it fits with the job description. 

But an important part of the work you do to get ready for an interview is making sure you feel positive. 

Working hard on presenting a positive, friendly attitude is the key to making a brilliant first impression. 

So, how do you go about creating that image?  

Before the interview 

Dress to impress 

According to a study by Yale University in 2014, well-dressed people are more successful, quite possibly due to an increase in confidence.  

Use this to your advantage when you’re choosing your interview outfit. Take the time to iron your clothes, polish your shoes and get a haircut – the extra effort will pay off. 

But also make sure you’re dressed for the interview you are going to. If you can, try and find out what people in the office wear – it doesn’t make sense to put on jeans and t-shirt for a job where everyone wears business attire.  

Go in confident 

In many ways, confidence is just a mindset and one that can be faked!  

Going to the interview thinking you won’t get the job probably means you’ll have a low mood to start with – something that can easily affect your performance. 

Take a few minutes before you go in to think about a time you achieved something.  

Remember how that felt, how much you wanted it and how great it was to succeed.  

Hold on to that attitude in your interview and you’ll find your confidence shining through. 

During the interview 


Your interviewers will likely take as much from how you’re sitting as what you talk about. 

This is known as non-verbal communication and it tells people how you’re feeling.  

Sitting back in your chair, bouncing your knee up and down, not looking your interviewers in the eyes all give off the signal that you’re not confident. 

Focus instead on sitting up straight with your shoulders back and look the people in front of you in the eye.  

Top tip: If your interview is over the internet, look directly at your camera, rather than the image on your screen. This will give the impression you’re looking directly at your interviewers. 

Listen actively 

One difficulty people face during interviews is they get so caught up in their own thinking that they don’t listen when someone else is talking. 

Active listening is the practice of focusing only on what is being said to you and is a powerful tool successful applicants use.  

Whenever you have a negative thought, interrupt it by forcing your attention back to what the interviewer is saying.  

It’s also OK to ask clarifying questions, but make sure you’ve been listening the whole time, or you might ask something they’ve already answered.  

Remember, job interviews require practice. The best roles we apply for are often the ones that challenge us to work our hardest. Plus, we all know that practice makes perfect! 

But you can learn these skills, and, with time, you’ll find yourself reaching your goals and having a successful career.  

Learn more about jobs skills on the Digital Literacy Skills section of the Library website.  

For more information, visit our Careers and Employability page. You can read about employability skills on our news pages. Find out more by following #WeAreSunLon on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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