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10 tips to nail a job interview

Whether it's your first job or you're an experienced employee, these will help you get your next job

10 tips to nail a job interview

Congratulations! Your potential employer was interested enough in your application that they want to meet you in person. This is a really positive sign that you have the skills for the job.

The purpose of a job interview is usually to help the hirer assess whether you are a good cultural fit for the organisation and can back up your experience with verbal examples.

Don't let your nerves get the better of you. These tips can help you plan and feel in control during your interview.

1. Get hyped

Before you cross the threshold, make sure you've put yourself in a terrific mindset. You're excited to be here, you're confident about what you can bring to the company and you're ready to show your best qualities.

Remember to remain cool and confident; your potential employer has brought you in and they're expecting you to ‘wow' them. You already look appealing on paper, now just take a few deep breaths and seal the deal.

2. Ask questions

Before heading into the interview, do some research on the company, its accomplishments, competitors and even the team you may be working with. This is going to put you in a terrific position to ask informed questions throughout. Employers relish when potential employees demonstrate knowledge, express a genuine interest in the role and show an understanding of the company culture.

3. Have a great conversation starter

Interviews can be an intimidating process at first, and getting the ball rolling can be a daunting task. A good icebreaker can set the scene for a much more relaxed and enjoyable discussion. Consider asking about your interviewers weekend, or comment on a company project or social media post you might have appreciated.

4. Be honest about your weaknesses

At all costs, avoid the clichés like "I work too hard". It might have been a great response once upon a time, but it isn't as well received today. An appreciation of instances where you've fallen short in of the mark before shows you've critically identified areas in need of improvement and you've taken the steps to correct them.

5. Positive body language is key

Verbal communication is only half the challenge in a successful interview. Projecting positive body language is just as crucial when selling yourself.

Things like slouching, fidgeting and avoiding eye contact can all make you appear awkward, or worse, deceptive. These can be difficult habits to reign in, but if you know you're prone to any of them it would be wise to try and make a conscious effort to avoid them.

6. Take your time

A rushed interview is a wasted interview. Don't be afraid to pause and articulate a response to an employer's question, or to wait through a silence without saying the first word. Rushing can make you seem panicked and incoherent. Biding your time shows control and confidence.

7. Show a willingness to learn

By all means, discuss your achievements and what you can bring to an organisation, but employers also appreciate when candidates show they are excited about learning from the company's dynamics and culture. This is especially important if you're applying for a junior or entry-level role.

8. Be honest about what drives you

Employers want to fill positions with people that want *the* position, not just *a* position. Before you go in for your interview, honestly ponder what's motivating you to apply for this particular role and this company. This way, you can avoid coming across as corny or dishonest.

9. Be ready to start immediately

A great way to really drive the interview home is to act as if you've already got the job. Exhibiting a willingness to start immediately shows a sense of drive, enthusiasm and reliability.

10. Ask if the employer has any concerns

The last thing you want to do is walk out of an interview with anything left unsaid, or with any doubts in the employer's mind about bringing you on board ASAP. Asking if the employer has any further questions, or if there are any concerns you can address, is an extremely positive way to finish an interview.

Don't forget to take a short course

One fantastic way to give yourself a real advantage over your competitors is to complete a short course at TAFE NSW – there's over 500 to choose from. There's no better way to quickly skill up and polish the resume!

Courses to careers