You’ve done the initial groundwork. You’ve found a job you want to apply for, have crafted a
relevant cover letter and worked on your resume, submitted the application, and have since
been invited for a job interview. Not every applicant lands a job interview, so you’ve been
shortlisted as one of the best candidates. Now it’s make or break time.
If it’s your first ever job interview, or you’re looking for some tips to improve your job interview
skills, this article is going to be offering handy advice on how to successfully prepare for and
negotiate a job interview to improve your chances of landing the position.
Be Organised Ahead of Time
Although you don’t want to make yourself nervous by over-thinking the upcoming job interview,
you will feel a lot more confident going into the interview if you’re organized and well-prepared
ahead of time, rather than leaving everything until the last minute. That will only make things
more stressful and that stress could then carry over into the job interview, creating a poor
Learn About the Company
Another thing you could, and probably should do, before the time of the interview arrives is to
learn more about the company or business you may soon be working for. When you do go into
the interview, you’ll have a better idea of what the company is about, the job position, and what
may be expected of the people who work there.
Demonstrating that you have some knowledge about their business also creates a good first
impression and shows that you’re genuinely interested in the company and the job being
Have All of Your Documentation Ready To Go
Although you likely would have already submitted your resume when you first applied for the
position, it’s always a good idea to take another copy of it with you when you attend the
interview. Include any other relevant documents or information you think you might need, such
as references (if you have any), copies of your ID, medical certificate (if required), and so on.
It’s always better to have too much paperwork with you than not enough. It will also demonstrate
to the interviewer that you’re organized and that landing the job is important to you.
If you’re going for an interview for an office job or a corporate position, then you’ll want to dress
formally for the interview. For other less formal jobs, dressing smart casual is usually more than
Think about the type of job you’re applying for and dress appropriately. You don’t want to be
under-dressed, but you don’t want to appear over-dressed either. For example, if it’s a job in
construction, arriving at the interview dressed in a suit and tie would seem very over the top and
somewhat out of character for the position you’re applying for. Smart casual is more than fine in
Be Ready for Those Awkward Questions
Most people can accurately guess at least some of the questions they’re likely to be asked
during a job interview. However, some interviewers like to catch candidates off guard by asking
awkward and unexpected questions. They often do this to see how well you think on your feet.
Not being prepared for difficult questions is one of the most common job interview weaknesses
going around. While it can be almost impossible to second guess every question you’ll be
asked, try and prepare some answers for questions about your weaknesses, as an example.
When you are asked a question you’re not sure how to answer, don’t just blurt out the first thing
that comes to mind. Take your time, think it through and try and positively answer the question.
Do a Dress Rehearsal
Another good tip before attending a job interview is to team up with a friend or family member
and rehearse a mock interview, where the other person acts as the interviewer. Instruct them to
ask you awkward questions for practice. A mock interview will also give you a chance to work on
your interview body language.
The secret to a successful job interview is preparation. This leads to more self-confidence going
into the interview, which also improves your chances of a successful outcome.
Read more: Dress formally for the interview