Put your best self forward




No matter what stage you are in your career, interviews are all about putting your best self forward. Be yourself, be authentic, but make sure the interviewer gets to hear all the great things about you and gets a sense of your personality and values. The interview process works both ways – it’s about an employer finding the right person for their organisation, as much as it is about you deciding if this is a company you want to be a part of.

Do some research

Do some reading about the organisation you’re interviewing with. They want to know if you’re interested, not just going through the motions. It will also help you assess whether it looks like a place for you to build your career. What are the company values? How successful is the organisation? Are there any Glassdoor reviews so you can see what other employees have said about them?

Check out their social media pages if they exist. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter can give you a great insight into a company’s culture.

Pay attention to detail

Ensure that all the information you provide to the employer is accurate throughout the process. Proofread your application, and ideally get someone else to proof it as well.

Think about your skills, capabilities and experience and be prepared to talk about these throughout the recruitment process. If you are beginning your career, or still studying, you still have valid skills and experience to talk about. If you have worked part-time, or even in your hobbies and interests, you will have learned things along the way. Whether it’s how to be part of a team, take instructions, understand deadlines or even how to lead people.

Read the description of the vacancy carefully. Look at the skills or experience required for the role, then reflect on your own qualities and how they match up to the job.

Taking the time to do this before your interview will make a huge difference in how easily and smoothly you can answer questions, and how relaxed you feel.

Consider the practicalities for your interviews

These may seem really obvious, but it’s easy to forget the small details and they can have a big impact on your success in an interview situation.

  • If you have a telephone interview planned, give yourself time beforehand to make sure your phone signal is strong and take the call in a quiet location to avoid distractions during the call.
  • If you are invited to a face to face interview, plan your journey in advance and make sure you know where you are going, take note of your points of contact for your interview and turn your phone off before you go in.
  • If it’s an assessment centre or there is any testing involved, it’s a good idea to wear a watch as you may be timed for certain activities.

Being nervous is a normal part of being in a pressurised environment. Give yourself time to relax and compose yourself before the interview.

Time to shine

Engage with your interviewers: maintain eye contact, listen to the questions asked and be confident – remember this is your time to shine.

Be interested! Ask questions on the role and demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm. Remember to smile!