How to Ace a Job Interview

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Thinking of moving on? Or perhaps you’ve just left university and are looking for that difficult first job? Whatever the case, the legwork of getting noticed is scary enough on its own, and once it’s done, you’ve got the terrifying prospect of an interview. So how do you do it? Read on, and discover the basic principles of how not to make an arse of yourself…

1. There is no formula for doing well in an interview. But there are obvious things that help. Firstly, a bit of confidence never goes amiss. If this comes naturally, then you’re in luck. If not, don’t panic (seriously, if you do you’re screwed).

2. Relax a bit and remember – if you don’t get the gig, it’s not the end of the world. Whatever you do, though, don’t be arrogant – no-one likes a smartarse.

3. Dress to suit the occasion. Don’t turn up to, say, a garden centre wearing a three-piece, pinstripe suit. Then again, don’t go for an interview with a hedge fund dressed in muddy overalls and wellies.

4. Eye contact is good, but know when to stop. Death staring a prospective employer is unlikely to get you hired. Similarly, don’t fiddle with stuff and don’t spend the interview crossing and un-crossing your legs. You’ll just look incontinent.

5. Anticipate the worst questions you might be asked – ‘what would you do to improve this business?’ is always a bad one, partly because however you answer, you risk making it seem like you think you’re cleverer than they are. Be prepared!

6. Have a set of questions at the ready – because they’ll ask you if you’ve got any, and if you don’t you’ll just look dim. Don’t try to turn the interview on its head or anything, but do try to concentrate on what you find interesting about the business, and why it interests you.

Further Reading