9 must-know job interview tips

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Job interviews can be daunting – but they can also be a fun challenge! If you’ve recently completed your course, job interview preparation is a must.

Read the following tips to make sure you go into your next job interview confident and prepared. Your dream job could be just around the corner!

1. Prepare. Prepare. Then prepare some more!

Preparation is the key to a great interview! Know exactly what the company does and why they do it. Then find a list of typical job interview questions like these ones from Glassdoor. Write out your answers, making sure to align them with the company’s values and in a way that highlights why you’re the right person for the role. Consider preparing answers using the STAR format for the behavioural questions.

Remember the interviewer wants to see how good a fit you are for the job AND the company. Subtly make everything about them!

2. Dress to impress.

This one is more important than you think! Humans are highly visual so how well you present yourself can make or break your interview. Make sure you’re clean, well presented and in an outfit that matches the company’s culture. Remember, it’s always better to be a little over dressed than under.

3. Know where you’re going. Get there early.

This one really is a no brainer. Research exactly where the interview is and find out how long it will take you. Now give yourself an extra 30 – 60 minutes. Time can be lost missing transport connections, trying to find parking, searching for the exact office in a big building. You want to arrive calm and prepared. Worst-case scenario you’ll get time to relax and have a coffee before you go in!

4. Nail your first impression.

Typically an interviewer will make up their mind about you in the first 20 minutes – so make sure you have the presence and confident attitude to match the brilliant resume that got you your interview. A warm smile, eye contact and firm handshake can go a long way.

5. Be positive and honest. But sell yourself.

The overall goal of the interview is to show the interviewer why you’re the best candidate for the position. Try to respond truthfully to interview questions but keep the overall goal in mind – to get to the next step. Answers should showcase your past experience and skills and how they would fit with the job.

Keep the quality of your responses high and use solid examples from your past experience. However, do this by getting straight to the point. You don’t want to bore your interviewer.

6. Buy yourself time.

Difficult question? It’s ok to ask for the time to think. A smile accompanied by “I’ve never thought of that before, give me a few minutes to think about it” is much better than blurting out an answer that doesn’t make sense. Take your time, breath, and think back on your experiences!

7. Watch your body language.

Body language can make or break an interview. You can be delivering a perfect response but staring at the table and fidgeting while doing so will completely undo everything you say.

Remember: smile, maintain eye contact, sit up straight, nod and show you’re listening. Avoid: fidgeting, slouching, chewing gum, staring out the window, touching your face… you get the picture.

8. Ask your interviewer questions.

Asking questions shows interest and enthusiasm to the interviewer. Just make sure the questions are not simple or unrelated. A question like “Is there a formal process for advancement within the organisation?” is great. A question like “Does your company do casual Fridays” is not.

9. Thank your interviewer on the way out, and again the next day.

Make sure you thank the interviewer or panel before leaving. A day or so later thank them again with an email containing a brief paragraph on how exciting you found the job opportunity. This step doesn’t guarantee you the job – but it certainly gives you an edge over the competition!

If you’re still waiting for your dream job to call you back, make sure you read our tips to build an awesome resume and ensure your resume is up to scratch. Best of luck!

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