6 Tips to Help You Ace Your Interview the First Time


Whether you are attending a phone, Skype or good old fashioned face-to-face interview, you always want to be prepared.

Making a good impression is essential and may determine whether you will move on to the next stage of the interview process.

Deciding what to wear and arriving 10 minutes earlier is crucial, but there are other important steps that you can take prior to best prepare yourself.

1. Research the company and reflect on the mission.

A common question that is often asked in an interview is ‘What do you know about our company?’ This question is commonly used to eliminate candidates who did not do their research. By demonstrating that you have an overall good understanding of the company, you can make a positive impression. Learning about their mission and values can also help you connect to the interviewers and company.

2. Check to see if you are connected in any way

With technology nowadays, we often find ourselves connected to one and another in some ways. Sometimes we may find ourselves interviewing for a role or with an interviewer, that we may be connected in some way. For example, if you found an opportunity through LinkedIn, you may find that you have someone in your network who is connected with the interviewer. Make sure you touch base with them prior to your interview.

Reaching out to your contact may help you find out some useful information and make you feel more prepared. Remember to thank them for any way in which they assisted with the connection and let them know about the interview.

3. Prepare to answer questions that are easy to foresee

You never know what questions you will be asked during your interview. However, you should be ready for the typical questions such as ‘tell me about yourself’, ‘what are your strengths’ or ‘why do you want to work for us’. Once you have a list of standard questions that are often asked, you will feel more prepared to give good answers. You also need to be prepared to tackle difficult interview questions.

4. Prepare for the day in advance

Before the day of your interview, make sure you have everything you need ready. Ensure you have the correct address and estimate roughly how long it will take for you to get there. You may want to consider doing a trial trip to the location beforehand as well. Have a copy of your resume ready and bring all your other essentials such as business cards, portfolios etc.

The more you prepare yourself in advance the less you’ll have to worry about right before the interview.

5. Be positive

It’s only normal to feel nervous before your interview but allowing yourself to linger on the fear will not help you. Remember though, that feeling nervous means that you care and the right amount of nerves will allow you to perform at your optimum.

Focus on the positive and think about all your accomplishments and the steps you took that helped you achieve those goals to be where you are at today. Concentrate on your strengths and what you can bring to this opportunity.

6. Follow up after the interview

Remember that after your interview, it is not over just yet. There are a few things you should do after your interview that may help you get through to the next stage. A good habit after attending interviews is to take some notes about what you’ve learnt, how you felt and any questions you may have about the company or role.

Be sure to send a thank you email to your interview 1 to 2 hours after the meeting. This demonstrates your interest and can help you stand out as a candidate who is capable and shows high interest. Find out how to write a thank you email following an interview.

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