The 10 tips to make sure that you perform at that vital job interview

JOB interviews are terrifying at the best of times. In a depressed job market where interviews are few and far between, it&rsquo;s even more important to be an expert in getting them right. The first thing, of course, is getting the interview. &ldquo;If you&rsquo;re out of work looking for work, flexibility is the key right now,&rdquo; says Andrew Evans, managing director of recruiter Morgan McKinley.<br /><br />&ldquo;Look at different areas of financial services. If you&rsquo;ve traditionally been on the investment banking side, don&rsquo;t limit yourself to that. Look at private banking or wealth management.&rdquo; If you have an investment banking background, he says then look at private banking. &ldquo;There might be something in your career that&rsquo;s a huge selling point a non-investment banking role,&rdquo; he says. If it is taking you a while to land a job, then be prepared to move to another city or country. <br /><br />Once you have an interview, you have to make sure that you make the most of it. Here are 10 tips. <br /><br /><strong>1&nbsp; BODY LANGUAGE</strong><br />You can be sunk at a job interview the moment you walk into the room, before you or even your interviewer knows it, says Evans. If negative or awkward body language tip the scales even slightly against you &ndash; a fumbled handshake, sitting down before you&rsquo;re asked to, looking down for a moment when asked a question &ndash; you&rsquo;re already going to be climbing uphill. &ldquo;A good firm handshake and maintaining eye contact are as basic and intrinsic as dressing smartly,&rdquo; Evans says, but people still get them wrong. Don&rsquo;t overdo it though &ndash; too much eye contact and the interviewer may be scared off.<br /><br /><strong>2 MAXIMISE YOUR MARKETABILITY</strong><br />As job markets go, this one&rsquo;s a horror, so you have to be able to make the most of yourself. Back when companies recruited in droves the interview could be practically a formality, so long as you ticked enough boxes. Now hiring is strategic: companies are looking for specific individuals who add value rather than merely fill appropriate positions. Make sure you understand what parts of your career experience make you a special candidate. <br /><br /><strong>3 DON&rsquo;T COME ACROSS AS DESPERATE</strong><br />&ldquo;If you&rsquo;ve been made redundant or are worried that things are heading that way, the temptation will be to come across as over-eager at the interview,&rdquo; says Richard Reid, Harley Street psychotherapist and human resources expert. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a fine line, but being too ready to please will seem false, and the one thing that will win interviewers over is the sense that they trust you. Platitudes will get you nowhere.&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>4 BE READY TO IMPRESS DIFFERENT PEOPLE</strong><br />Three or four years ago, most City jobs required two or three interviews as a maximum. In today&rsquo;s highly competitive, highly strategic job market, you may be called for interview as many as six times before you are offered a job. As well as HR people and your potential managers, you may be interviewed by other managers brought in on an advisory basis. For the interviewee it means more opportunity to go wrong, so treat each with equal importance and preparation.<br /><br /><strong>5 ROLE PLAY AND VISUALISE</strong><br />Practice makes perfect. It&rsquo;s not only worth finding someone who will play the role of interviewer to help you prepare, but also find another friend who will sit in, observe and offer impartial advice, Reid advises. Also role-play the interview in your mind before you go in &ndash; what psychologists call positive visualisation. Like any kind of business meeting, it&rsquo;s important to be absolutely clear beforehand what you want to get across. Visualise the interview and what it consists of, what characteristics you want to the interviewers to see in you and how you can work these in.<br /><br /><strong>6 ASK INTERESTING QUESTIONS</strong><br />When interviewers ask you if you have any questions, it&rsquo;s not your opportunity to ask what your bonus prospects are. God forbid. Ask interesting questions that open up discussion, and help the interviewer buy into you further. &ldquo;Enquiring as to the long-term ambitions the company holds for the area you&rsquo;re hoping to work in, or what skills you can expect to pick up over the next five years, are proactive ways of continuing the conversation,&rdquo; says Evans. <br /><br /><strong>7 MIND THE GAPS</strong><br />It&rsquo;s important to be mindful of the areas where you may have gaps in your experience, or even where you&rsquo;ve made mistakes in the past, and turn these into positive interview situations &ndash; you&rsquo;re sure to be asked about them. Show that you&rsquo;ve learned from negative situations and responded to them constructively, even if that situation was being made redundant.<br /><br /><strong>8 DO YOUR RESEARCH</strong><br />Understanding the company you&rsquo;re hoping to work for has always been important, but it&rsquo;s even more so now. Make sure you know the details &ndash; if it&rsquo;s listed on the stock exchange, don&rsquo;t&nbsp; just know the share price but research its recent movements and specific reasons behind these.<br /><br /><strong>9 TWO WAY PROCESS</strong><br />The tendency among job candidates is to think of the interview as a kind of performance, like getting up on stage before a hostile audience &ndash; no wonder it brings people out in cold sweats. But it&rsquo;s a two-way dialogue, and it requires confidence to make people feel comfortable with you &ndash; after all, you want to be a key part of their team.<br /><br /><strong>10 UNDERSTAND WHAT THE QUESTIONS ARE FOR</strong><br />At certain points in the interview process, you&rsquo;re liable to be asked some highly technical questions that could require some involved working out. Don&rsquo;t freeze like a rabbit in the headlights at this point, or go into a silent repose as you attempt to arrive at an answer. The interviewers are less interested in your solution than they are in your approach to getting to it. Treat every question as an opportunity to show reveal more about yourself, your skills and your attitude.