Many candidates, when they are coming up for their first, second or third interviews, always have a sense of fear or foreboding about that opportunity.

Nerves are a good thing; they provide energy, drive and motivation for many individuals but there is no reason to fear an interview.

The absolute truth is that most recruiters are hoping the next candidate who walks through their door is the ideal person and the perfect one for the position. After all, they have an immediate problem in the sense that they have a vacancy to fill and are actively looking for a solution to that problem.

Unfortunately, the belief for many candidates walking through that same door is that they are going to be grilled, that they are going to be in for a difficult time, the questions are going to be probing, and their areas of weakness are going to be exposed.

All it takes is a shift in mindset by the candidate. Focus your preparation on ensuring you are a good match for the role and your interview efforts on helping the recruiter to tick all the boxes on their checklist. Your job is to make it easy for the recruiter to decide in your favour.

So, next time you walk into that interview room just remember that the interviewer is more than likely hoping that you are the perfect candidate to fill their vacancy.

Getting off to a good start in an interview is essential and can have a halo effect positive or negative on the rest of the process. One of the questions often asked early on in an interview and one many candidates fail to prepare for is 'Tell me about yourself'. This can often be asked face to face, or indeed in a phone or a video conference interview where the interviewer is waiting for you to start the conversation and begin the dialogue. It is a simple question, and one that you should know the answer to, but so many people stumble over this and get off to a bad start in their interview.

Avoid spending too long recounting your life's history or simply running through your CV. Use the opportunity to succinctly and effectively sum up your key message in about 30 seconds or so.

Probably the simplest way to introduce yourself in a business context is to use three separate sections: Start off by saying 'well, professionally I am' (and then very briefly describe your specialism or area of expertise, and which companies you have recently worked for). Follow this up with 'what I am looking for is' (a brief description of the type of role or company you are interested in).

Then finish off by saying 'and on the personal side...' which could include a brief summary of your family, any personal interests, sports or activities.

Glenn Steward is a professional business coach and director of The Trading Edge Co.