You are here
How to ace your interview – before, during and after
Preparation, practise – and positivity. There are certain things you should do before, during and after your job interview to impress the recruiter or hiring manager – and get one-step closer to securing your dream job.
The following tips will help you feel calm, collected, and ready to ace your interview – and help you secure the job you want.
Do your homework! Know exactly where you are going – and what to expect when you get there. Research the company you are interviewing with before the big day. Try to understand what they do, their organisational structure, purpose, goals and any recent success stories. You can learn a lot about company culture from their website.
With an idea of what the company does, you can ask questions about things that interest you or any part of the company that is not clear. It also shows that you are already an engaged candidate in the interview process.
Practice makes perfect
Before the interview, go over your CV, but don’t memorise it, or talk like a robot about your past experiences! Double check your CV aligns with the job description and addresses the skills (soft and technical) they require for this role.
Think about your past experiences, and talk about the things that might resonate with your interviewer. Be sure to have supporting facts and figures as part of your record of achievement. Prepare concrete examples of how you added value in your current position.
Keep calm and be yourself
A bit of stress is good for you to stay focused and fully engaged. Don’t put yourself under more stress by trying too hard to calm down, or repeating something like: “I have to stay calm.” All interviewers know that a certain amount of stress is perfectly normal in this situation.
Take advantage of this stress, but don’t let it take control! There really is power in positive thought – so imagine the best possible scenario for your interview. Think about entering the room full of self-confidence, answering questions in a positive atmosphere. Remember, if you were not good enough they would not have invited you to the interview. Don’t pretend to be someone else – simply be your best self.
So, you survived the research stage, managed your stress levels, and now it’s time to really sell yourself to show that you are a great fit for the company. Make eye contact with the interviewer but don't stare at them. Sit with your back straight, and don’t play with your pen or the paper on the table. Avoid continuous movements, like bouncing your leg or massaging your hands – these are classic signs of nervousness and stress!
Also, you should prepare well for the classic questions. Inquiries about strengths and weaknesses are asked in almost every job interview. You should be able to answer them fluently.
Remember to smile, especially after positive comments. If you don’t understand a question, make no assumptions. Simply ask the interviewer to repeat. If you are unsure what to say or need to think, take your time to answer. Don’t rush! After all, this is not a speed competition.
Try not to simply respond to questions – you should also ask some! Be proactive and show your interest. When they ask if you have a question, the answer no can be interpreted as disengagement. Even if they covered all the points you could possibly ask, you can always ask about company’s near-future plans, culture, career paths – or the next steps in the interview process.
Following up email
An easy, yet effective way to go one-step further than your competitors and stand out from the crowd. Send a short thank you email to your interviewer, saying that you appreciate their time and the opportunity given. You can add that you are looking forward to hearing any news, and ask when the next step in the process will take place.