Acing the interview

Getting an interview (preferably at a place you covet to work at) is a major milestone in one’s career journey.
Every accomplishment starts with the first step and the first interview is a significant chance to impress and boost your chances of getting the job.

The good news is that getting in to start the interview process is an affirming sign: they are interested in your skills, appreciate your experience and would now like to intermingle one-on-one.

Tips for acing the interview

Prepare beforehand – but not too much

Sounds a little paradoxical, you want to be prepared but it’s nice to allow some room for flexibility and spontaneity. No-one wants to come off as robotic and as if they’re reading off a script or have memorized answers. Research the basics, like the company, its organizational structure, important news and statistics (if available) and their general workings.

Understand the job requirements

Part of your preparation must include understanding the skills necessary for the work at hand – and how you can fulfill the responsibilities. This is your time to shine – speak confidently about what you can bring to the company that’s different to other interviewees.

Be mannerful and mindful

No matter the country, city or company – good manners go a long way in interview settings. Address everyone by their correct names, say please and thank you when necessary, and listen without interruption. Companies will always prefer one-on-one interviews as they get to interact “live” with a potential employee and are able to gauge how the person comes across. This is significant for them to understand how the employee may interact with managers, clients and customers. Good manners extend to dressing appropriately and turning off your phone during the interview.

Set yourself apart

Throw in a little anecdote about something that may be slightly tangential to the interview or job at hand. Try to make the segue as natural as possible. It could be a funny little sidebar or a touching experience that relates to the job/skill – show some personality and ground yourself in your humanity. Recruiters appreciate a candidate who stands out.

Answer the hard questions

Try not to give the usual pat answers like, “I work too hard,” when asked about your weakness. Be creative yet honest in answering the tough questions. Giving an answer like the above is simply a version of a humblebrag where you’re seeking to impress rather than being transparent. You can speak to your work ethic, but admit that you may need help delegating or learning when to say no.

Think outside the box

According to careers and recruitment site, Glassdoor, over 20% of employers want to know about projects or examples that forced the candidate to be “innovative and creative”. Think up an example and keep it handy just in case you need to refer back. Try to frame the answer as concisely as possible, highlighting the necessary steps and ultimately, the point of success. “Chances are, CEOs will ask candidates how they can push the envelope in their positions once hired.” - Glassdoor

Be yourself!

This may be the simplest, most effective tip ever. You can study endless facts and statistics, research every unit of the company, know all the stakeholder’s names and even the company mascot – but it’s meaningless if you deliver a false impression of yourself. Use the interview as an opportunity to display your unique personality, sense of humor (if appropriate), charm and versatility. Humility and respect for yourself and your interviewee will stand you in good stead.

Best of luck!

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