Congratulations on landing your job interview!
We recommend setting some time aside before the big day to go through our top job interview tips to help you ace your next meeting. A little preparation can go a long way.
Research the company and industry
Make sure you are familiar with the company, what they do, their main competitors and their operations. Check whether they were in the news lately. Maybe they opened a new establishment or have just released a new product.
Know your selling points and why you want this job
More likely than not, the first question interviewers ask is: 'Why did you apply for this role?'
Go into the interview knowing why you are the best candidate for the position. Prepare 2-3 unique selling points beforehand to convince them why you're the perfect fit. Know what interests you about the job and what skills you need to perform well in such a role.
Always be aware of your weaknesses or shortcomings, but focus on your strengths and positive attributes.
Practice answering some common interview questions
Prepare your answers to typical interview questions.
Don't just rehearse in your mind. Say the answers out loud.
Practising out loud will help you sound more confident and convincing during the actual interview while also helping you refine your answers further.
You can also practice with a trusted friend or family member. Alternatively, you can tape-record your answers and play them back to see where you can improve.
Be as specific and concise as you can in your responses. Try to highlight any skills that are relevant to the position and back up your resume.
Bonus Tip: Be prepared to discuss your salary expectations. If you're uncertain about what to ask for, use a Salary Calculator.
Use the STAR method when answering questions
The STAR method is a great format to use when answering behavioural interview questions.
These questions typically start with:
The STAR acronym stands for:
Prepare questions for the interviewer
Interviews will almost always ask if you have any questions towards the end of the interview. Asking questions can help further prompt the conversation.
Questions can include asking about the company's targets for the future, or perhaps you can ask about the organisational structure. It would also be beneficial to ask specific questions about the position itself, such as:
Be prepared to handle any inappropriate questions
As recruiters we are often asked how best to handle inappropriate questions, such as questions about family planning or religion.
If you are asked any sort of unprofessional questions, we suggest answering by saying: 'I'm not sure how that is relevant to my application or experience.'
Even if you are point-blank asked questions about negative experiences, try not to dwell on them. For example, you can answer this question: 'What did you like least about your previous position?' with 'I liked my previous position; however, I would like to continue growing in my career, and I felt that there wasn't enough room for growth.'
Never speak negatively about your previous employers. Always focus on what you've gained from that experience and be honest.
Your attire will depend on the job you're applying for, but either way, you need to be smart, clean and well-groomed. Make sure your clothes are clean, freshly ironed, and polish your shoes!
If you have a face-to-face interview, try not to wear overpowering perfume or cologne.
Aim to arrive at least 15 mins early
It's always better to be early than late. If something unexpected happens, call ahead and inform them that you will be late.
If you arrive earlier, go through your notes again and take a second to unwind and breathe before going in.
Bonus Tips for Online Interviews from our Recruiters
Tip #1: Prepare just like you would usually prepare for a face-to-face interview. - Kane
Tip #2: Ensure you have agreed upon your preferred online interview channel with the interviewer and provided credentials ahead of time. - Toya
Tip #3: Ensure that you are dressed for the job you want, even though it's an online interview. - David
Tip #4: Make sure you sit straight on your chair with a clean background. - Edel
Tip #5: Advise any family members or roommates that you'll be in an interview. Remove any distracting noises and close windows to cut out outside noise if possible. Ensure that there are no echoes within the room you're using. - Kim
Tip #6: Although it is ideal to find a quiet space for your interview, sometimes it is not possible. If you know that there might be interruptions during the interview (be it the dog or construction noise) just let the interviewer know, so neither of you feel awkward when it happens. - Lara
Tip #7: If you are using your phone as the interview medium, place it on the table. Holding it will cause the video to shake and will look unprofessional. - David
Final Tip: Keep going
If you've had a bad interview for a job that you genuinely think would be an excellent fit for you, don't give up!
Reach out to the interviewer and let them know that you feel like you didn't perform your best and why you think this job would be a good match.