More Interview Tips

Job interviews rank right up there with having the flu, hangovers and exam results for fun and the thrill of anticipation. In an attempt to make your interview adventures as smooth as possible though, we’ve put together some tips to help you get through it alive.

The simple stuff

If you are among 400 applicants for one job, it’s a lot like musical chairs – winning just means surviving until the last round when everyone else has been eliminated. A big part of interview success is being careful not to make obvious mistakes.

Avoid the following mistakes and you’re more likely to find yourself in the job search finals:

  • Arriving late. If you can’t turn up on time for the interview, what would you do as an employee? Leave home VERY early just to be sure you get there on time. If a meteor hits your car, bus or taxi, find a phone and ask for the interview to be rescheduled.
  • Dressing in the wrong way. How you look has a lot to do with the impression you make. Dressing too casually in a company where everyone wears sensible suits can mean losing a job. Aim to look smart and businesslike: you can let your creativity flow when you’ve actually got the job.
  • Not doing research. You don’t need to memorise the company’s profit figures but you should know something about their products or services and company policy. Look the company up online or ask them to send you out some information.
  • People go to job interviews all the time just presuming that brilliant words will leap to their lips. Don’t do it. Make a list of all the questions you might be asked (or search for interview Q&As online) and then practice the best possible answers. Emphasise how your skills apply to the job.
  • Bad mouthing your last boss. Never say anything negative about a person or company you worked for. It makes you sound like a complainer.
  • Losing your cool. Expect the unexpected. Sometimes interviewers can test you with nasty questions like “What makes you think you’ll be the best at this job?” Stay calm: they’re just checking how professional you can be under fire.
  • Being under confident. If you weren’t suitable for the job, you wouldn’t get an interview. Feel confident about yourself and your abilities. Remind yourself what a great job you’ll do if these people have the good sense to hire you. Then relax, tell them about your skills and just be yourself.