How to ace a job interview in 7 steps

By Kate Smith

Do you have questions about job interviews? Do you want to know how to prepare for a job interview, what time to arrive and what to say?

I sat down with our Careers team to find out how to ace a job interview.

how to ace a job interview

  • Research/prepare

Make sure you understand what the role entails and the organisation’s goals. Research the company online and speak to people you know who have dealt with the company or held a similar role. Prepare questions you would like to ask during the interview to determine if this is a role you’d enjoy and a place you would like to work.

  • Relax

Do your best to relax; ensure you arrive early so you’re not flustered before your interview begins. Remind yourself that you are good enough to be there (well done for the resume). Focus on your breathing to relax and remember that the person interviewing you wants you to be comfortable as it assists you to present yourself at your best.

  • Present yourself well

First impressions are made within seconds of meeting. Dress for success! Wear neat, clean, conservative, professional clothes. We suggest you wear a suit, crisp shirt, clean shoes, have neat hair and minimal accessories. Make sure your bag is professional. Offer a firm handshake. If you need to, practise shaking hands so that you can confidently deliver a firm handshake. Speak clearly and be positive. During an interview speak respectfully of your current and former places of employment and colleagues.

Before any of this make sure you put your phone on silent!

  • Practise

Spend time practising how you will answer questions such as:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why do you want to work in this industry?
  • What are your best qualities?
  • Explain a situation in which you excelled
  • Explain a situation when you overcame a workplace problem
  • What can you bring to the role?
  • What do you offer that others may not?
  • What do you do when you’re not working?
  • Take your time

Sometimes our nerves can get the better of us, so try and relax. You don’t have to rush. We recommend that you take your time to think about what you’ve been asked and how best to answer. It is likely you will be asked questions you haven’t practised; don’t let that throw you. Keep in mind that answers don’t always have to relate to work; think about situations socially (organising a group holiday, for example), or those to do with clubs you’re a member of (planning a fundraising event, organising the team to work together better).

  • Ask questions

Be ready to ask questions; it’s likely you’ll be asked if you have any at the end of the interview (you can ask questions throughout as well). Think about what you would like to know before the interview.

Examples of questions you might like to ask could include:

  • What are the challenges in the role?
  • Why is the role available?
  • What are the current major projects?
  • How many people are in the team?
  • What is the recruitment process and when will I hear from you?
  • Follow up

Send a thank you email to the person who interviewed you. Thank them for their time and the opportunity. Let them know you’re excited about the opportunity and you’re looking forward to hearing from them.

What tip do you think is most valuable? What have you done to prepare for a job interview that you believe increased your success? We’d love to hear from you.

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