11 Tips to Prepare for a Job Interview

By Nicole Cameron

A job interview is the time to shine and let your prospective employer know what you are capable of.

A job interview is the time to shine and let your prospective employer know what you are capable of.

Finding a new job can be stressful, but also very exciting.

A fresh start and a new opportunity to learn and deliver.

If you are at the interview stage, you have passed the hardest part- getting the interview in the first place.

The interview itself is the time to shine and let your prospective employer know exactly what you are capable of.

Here’s some tips to help:

1. Dress for the occasion.

If you are going to an office job/ corporate interview, look the part. A smart suit, appropriate length with neat hair and day appropriate make-up is key. Navy blue has been shown to be a good color for communication. A splash of color such as red indicates confidence. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, within an appropriate code. Obviously if you are interviewing for a more physical role, you might consider your dress options, but it is better to be more formal/ overdressed in an interview than under dressed or too casual.

2. First impressions.

First impressions count. Make sure you have a confident handshake and hold eye contact. Have your opening line practiced- even it is just a simple “nice to meet you and thank you for seeing me”. This will help avoid awkward first moments.

3. Be confident and assured, but not overbearing.

Enough said.

4. Listen, listen, listen.

Listen with your ears and ensure your body language is open. Lean forward and make sure your arms are not crossed. This indicates you are genuinely listening. Eye contact is key.

5. Ask considered questions.

Prepare at least two questions about the role or the company to show you are interested in what they do and the role.

6. You will be asked to tell them about your experience.

Be prepared to highlight your career succinctly and with examples that are most relevant to the role you are applying for. Don’t be shy at talking about your achievements. The competition will.

7. Do your homework.

Research the company and the people you are interviewing with. Knowing their experience and progressions will help you angle your responses appropriately. I once completely bombed an interview in a role that would have been perfect for me as I didn’t have time to research the program I was interviewing for. When asked how my skills would apply to that particular program I completely froze. I had no idea. Needless to say I did not get the role, but I learned a valuable lesson!

8. Take a clean copy of your credentials.

It is likely they have seen your resume, but it never helps to take a few copies that look professional with you. This might prompt further discussion about your strengths and experience.

9. Do not talk negatively of your former places of employment.

No matter what happened, or why you are moving on, don’t go to the ins and outs of politics or personality conflicts. Be prepared to talk about the need to undertake a new challenge. If you talk about a former employer in a negative way, chances are you will do it when you leave your next company too!

10. Be friendly.

At the end of the day, people want to work with people they will get along with.

11. Flexibility.When is the right time for the conversation?

If it comes up in your interview, don’t be shy about the fact you have a family. In some roles, I did not want to spend a week every month overseas, so I had to put it on the table early. The job wasn’t right for me. If it is a high priority for you, talk about it early in terms of “is the company family friendly” way. You don’t want to waste your time or theirs. If it is a minor point, then save the discussion to a later meeting in which you are talking about salary and conditions.

Good luck! If you get the job, it is meant to be. If you don’t, keep trying. The perfect job will be just around the corner.

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