How to Ace a Job Interview

Job interviews: they’re those sometimes pesky little things that stand between you and that corner office. Or place behind the till, or job fixing that engine. Well, you get the picture. Whatever it is you want to do you’ll likely have to complete a job interview first. Here’s how to make sure you absolutely ace it.

Know Your Stuff

Do research before your interview about the company or organization you are applying to work at. This includes understanding their market, the broader industry, key challenges facing the organization and their mission and aspirations. Showing that you know what your job description and the wider business is all about demonstrates initiative, intelligence and preparation skills. These are all things that a boss wants to see in a prospective employee.¹

Dress Right

This might seem small, but it does matter. Even if you’re interviewing at a manual labor job you should make an effort to dress neatly. Avoid ripped clothing, controversial slogans and footwear like sandals. Aim for clothes that fit the kind of job you’re applying for. Dressing right for the job shows that you’re ready to go and that you respect the rules around how the organization expects employees to dress.²

Sell Yourself Well

Practice your answers beforehand and keep at least five “selling points” about yourself. Try to be specific but simple. You don’t need to wow your interviewer with big words or complicated explanations, just lay out clearly why you are the best person for the position based on your experience, your skills, your interests and your future aspirations. At the end of the day the interview is a process of selling yourself as the answer to what the company is looking for.³

Want It More

If you come into an interview with limp body language, downcast eyes and an unsure, ambivalent attitude then you are telegraphing that the job is not that important to you. A big part of getting a job is really wanting the job. Show how much you want the job by knowing all its details and being enthusiastic and engaged when it comes to talking about how you would fulfill your role. Demonstrate through your tone of voice, body language and words that the job is more than just another boring thing and that you actually want it.³

Tell A Story

Stories aren’t just for bedtime when you’re a little kid. They’re also a great way to get a job. Telling a brief but compelling story that shows your qualifications and skills or talks about a challenge you overcame can be exactly the thing that wins over a skeptical interviewer. Don’t go overboard here: keep it simple, but don’t be afraid to tell a story and connect with your interviewer beyond the surface level.⁴

Flip The Script

Come into the interview with questions you also want to ask the interviewer. At the end of the interviewer you will often be asked if you have questions. Come prepared even if it is just basic things about vacation time, workplace policies or what happens in unexpected circumstances or overtime. Your interviewer will see that you are on the ball and appreciate it.¹

Stay Calm

At the end of the day you can only control your own performance in a job interview. If you do your best and come prepared and still don’t get the job – so be it. The most important thing is to remain calm and be certain of your own value and the skills you bring to the table. Display confidence and an even-tempered approach to the interview that shows you want the job but are also not needy. Internalize the knowledge that you have the right to a great job and would be a valuable asset to any company and you know it. You got this.⁵