You have applied for a new job and been asked to attend an interview.  But how can you ensure that you make the right impression?  What should you do?  Try these top tips to improve your chances of success.

  1. Research the Organisation.  It may sound obvious but make sure you know as much about the organisation as you can before you go to the interview.  The interviewer will expect you to demonstrate a degree of initiative and responsibility and will not appreciate wasting time on giving you background information about the organisation.
  2. Prepare questions.  Recognise that any interview should be part of your ongoing research into the organisation and job and not just a sales pitch, so prepare any questions that will help you to decide whether this is the right job and organisation for you.
  3. Be prepared.  Realise that the employer will think the way you are doing your job-hunt is the way you will do the job if employed.  So if you turn up late and poorly prepared don’t be surprised when you are not offered the job!
  4. Take evidence.  If you have evidence of how you have performed in a previous or similar role, take it with you to the interview.  You may have examples or research, improvement projects, reports etc that will demonstrate your competence to the employer.
  5. Listen and answer questions concisely.  During the interview, commit to observing the 50-50 rule (i.e. listening Vs talking).  When answering the employer’s questions, observe the twenty second to two minute rule.  Generally, employers do not respond well to people who do not listen or talk incessantly.
  6. Demonstrate your resourcefulness.  Determine to be seen in the interview as a resource person, not a job beggar.  While you may desperately want the job, go with the mind set that you are there to help them solve the problems they currently face.
  7. Don’t be disrespectful to others.  Never ever bad mouth your previous bosses or employer(s) during the interview.  It might make you feel good, but it won’t win you any friends.
  8. Remember the answers to key questions.  You don’t have to spend hours memorising a lot of “good answers” to potential questions from the employer.  There are probably only six questions that really matter:
    • “Why are you here?”
    • “What can you do for us?”
    • “What kind of person are you?”
    • “What are your weaknesses?”
    • “What distinguishes you from nineteen other people who can do the same tasks that you can?”
    • “Can I afford you

Finally, remember employers don’t really care about your past; the only ask about it, in order to try and predict your future behaviour and performance.  So identify the key aspects of your past experience that demonstrates your capability to do the job.

Good luck!