5 Tips for acing job interviews
Interviews are one of life’s inevitable experiences that we may desperately wish would just go away, but no such luck. They’re a tried-and-true mainstay of the recruitment process and, as such, they have a habit of reappearing all the way through our lives.
The interview process has undergone a bit of facelift thanks to modern technology and current events. However, at heart, the principles are the same when it comes to communication and preparation whether it’s an impromptu phone interview, a Zoom interview or one that is face-to-face.
So, if you’ve got an interview on the horizon, fear not! With our top tips under your belt, you’ll be well-prepared to acing your interviews.
1. Dress like you’re ready to step into the role.
With modern professional attire encompassing a spectrum of styles, it can be confusing figuring out what’s now appropriate and what’s not, so, we suggest you:
- ask about the company’s dress code so you can be dressed just right, or
- research how employees are dressed on the company’s social media, or
- stick to conservative business attire if all else fails, and
- even on Zoom, ensure you have hair and makeup done, with business attire (on the top half at least!).
2. Switch on interview mode the moment you leave the house.
We’ve all heard horror stories of that person who was accidentally overheard by a client or colleague complaining about them on the bus, in the parking lot or at a café.
Don’t jeopardize your interview before you’ve even had the chance to shake hands. Treat everyone you meet on this day with the respect and charm you would show to an interview panel.
In the case of a Zoom interview, you are not necessarily leaving the house but still need to set up your camera for ‘interview’ mode. Ensure there is nothing in the background that you don’t want the interviewer to see. For more tips on virtual interviews, click here.
3. Be considerate
Be considerate of the interviewer’s time by arriving early (this applies online too). Be considerate of the interview opportunity by researching the company and the role: prepare for the interview. Even seemingly little actions like ensuring you’re not holding out a damp or cold hand for a handshake goes towards building an outstanding first impression.
4. Listen, listen, listen
Slow down! It’s easy to rush in and blurt out responses when your nerves are stretched wire-thin. Take a leaf out of Steve Jobs and Elon Musk’s book on pausing before answering questions. It’s expected you will take your time to formulate an answer so embrace that awkward silence and be ok with explaining ‘that is a great question, let me think of an example for you.”
5. Honesty rules.
Be honest about your experience, your capability and your knowledge.
We heard of a candidate who spent her first year spending many stressful hours in the toilets desperately Googling how to do her job in order to deliver on the false promises she had made to land the job.
There’s knowing your value and overselling yourself, challenging yourself and overreaching: know the difference. Faking it till you make it might get you the job but are you prepared to shoulder the consequences of your lies?
Before you pat yourself on the back for an interview very well done, ensure you leave on the same high note. Thank each member for their time and, if appropriate, send a follow-up thank-you email to solidify the exceptional impression you’ve made.