Tips for a Successful Job Interview

Upcoming interview? Nervous? We get it, it happens to all of us. Here at Working Heads, we want to ensure you’re as best prepared as possible.

So, how prepared are you? It’s essential you do your research prior to your interview and, hopefully you’ve applied for something you’re interested in, so naturally you’ll have some knowledge of the industry, but there’s no harm in being extra prepared. Read our carefully constructed guide below to get you ready for that all important, life changing interview. From industry research, to body language – we’ve got you covered.

1. Practice and Prepare

Review the typical job interview questions employers ask and practice your answers. Strong answers are those that are specific but concise, drawing on concrete examples that highlight your skills and back up your CV. Your answers should also emphasise the skills that are most important to the employer and relevant to the position. Be sure to review the job listing, make a list of the requirements, and match them to your experience.

Note that even the most well-prepared response will fall short if it does not answer the exact question you are being asked. While it’s important to familiarise yourself with best answers, it’s equally important to listen carefully during your interview in order to ensure your responses give the interviewer the information they are looking for.

Also, have a list of your own questions to ask the employer ready. In almost every interview, you’ll be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer. It is important to have at least one or two questions prepared in order to demonstrate your interest in the organisation.

2. Develop a Connection with the Interviewer

In addition to indicating what you know about the company, you should also try to develop a connection with your interviewer. Know the interviewer's name, and use it during the job interview. (If you're not sure of the name, call and ask prior to the interview).

Ultimately, building rapport and making a personal connection with your interviewer can increase your chances of getting hired. People tend to hire candidates they like and who seems to be a good fit for the company's culture.

3. Research the Company, and Show What You Know

Do your homework and research the employer and the industry, so you are ready for the interview question, "What do you know about this company?" If this question is not asked, you should try to demonstrate what you know about the company on your own.

You should be able to find out a lot of information about the company’s history, mission and values, staff, culture, and recent successes on its website. If the company has a blog and a social media presence, they can be useful places to look, too.

4. Get Ready Ahead of Time

Don't wait until the last minute to pick out an interview outfit, print extra copies of your CV, or find a notepad and pen. Have one good interview outfit ready, so you can interview on short notice without having to worry about what to wear. When you have an interview lined up, get everything ready the night before.

Not only will planning out everything buy you time in the morning, it can help reduce job search anxiety, and it will also save you from having to make decisions, which means you can use that brain power for your interview.

5. Don’t Just Arrive on Time – Be Early

Be on time for the interview. On time means five to ten minutes early. If need be, drive to the interview location ahead of time so you know exactly where you are going and how long it will take to get there. Give yourself a few extra minutes to visit the toilets, check your outfit, and calm your nerves.

6. Try to Stay Calm

During the job interview, try to relax and stay as calm as possible. Remember that your body language says as much about you as your answers to the questions. Proper preparation will allow you to show confidence.

As you answer questions, maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Be sure to pay attention to the question so that you don’t forget it, and listen to the entire question before you answer, so you know exactly what the interviewer is asking. Avoid cutting off the interviewer at all costs, especially when he or she is asking questions. If you need to take a moment to think about your answer, that’s totally fine, and is a better option than starting out with multiple “ums” or “uhs.”

7. Follow-Up after the Interview

Always follow up with a thank-you email reiterating your interest in the position. You can also include any details you may have forgotten to mention during your interview. If you interview with multiple people from the same company, send each one a personal note. Send your thank-you email within 24 hours of your interview.