How to land the perfect job - 10 great interview tips

Getting the job you want often depends on how well you perform in interviews. So here are ten great tips from Shiree Thomas, principal of Authentic Recruitment, to help you land your dream role.

Tip 1: Take care with personal presentation

Even if you are going for something in a casual environment, go smart. This means no garish colours or loud accessories, as well as all the usual rules about subtle fragrance and make up. “Loud accessories might look great at a nightclub on Friday night, but they are not appropriate for interviews,” she says.

Tip 2: Be punctual

“Try to arrive at least, but no more than, five minutes before the scheduled interview time. If you are going to be late, it’s courteous to ring and let them know, as well as apologise once you get there,” she says.

Tip 3: Mirror the behaviour of the interviewee

Body language is a huge part of communication, so watch you are giving out the right message while you are with the interviewer. The same goes for talk style. “You still need to maintain your own personality, but like attracts like, so try to adopt a similar communication style as the interviewer. If they don’t volunteer personal information you shouldn’t either. But if they do, say, comment on a big football game and you know something about it, it’s appropriate to offer a comment back,” Shiree says.

Tip 4: Don’t interject

Another piece of good advice is not to interject or interrupt the interviewer. Shiree says this can get the interviewer offside, or make you seem arrogant. Show good listening skills too. Really give your attention to the interviewer.

Tip 5: Have confidence

“Keep in mind that if you have been selected for an interview, the business thinks you have potential, otherwise management wouldn’t waste their time or yours, so the idea is to project an air of quiet confidence, which can also help to quell any nerves you have,” she says 

Tip 6: Less is more

According to Shiree, it’s easy to talk too much in an interview – especially when nerves are at play. “It’s much better to try to keep your answers short and sweet, which also lessens the chance of saying something damaging,” she says. If you feel yourself foundering, ask a question of the interviewer and move the focus. As a general rule, never be negative about a previous employer or work experience, even if it's a competitor. Bad mouthing anyone makes you appear less trustworthy.

Tip 7: Do your research

Expect to be asked questions about the company you are trying to win a place at and be prepared to answer them. These days, says Shiree, there’s no excuse for not researching what the company to which you are applying for does and how they operate. She says it’s essential to go to its website and also talk to friends and colleagues about their experiences with the firm.

Tip 8: Use resume preparation services wisely

“If you’re going to use a resume preparation service”, says Shiree, “make sure they prepare your resume with the required level of detail. If you do use someone to write your resume for you, make sure you know it inside out before turning up for an interview,” she says.

Tip 9: Be honest

If you have gaps in your employment, make sure you that you can cover them in a way that is truthful. “It’s always best to be honest – if you are asked a question you don’t know the answer to, say so, but promise to come back with an answer after the interview – and if you do make a commitment like that, you need to honour it to give yourself the best chance to nail the job,” she says.  

Tip 10: Follow up

People like to see keeness. Shiree says it’s essential to follow up with the person who interviewed you within 24 hours of the interview. “Send a thank you email confirming your interest in the role. People often forget to confirm their interest in a job, and a follow up email is a great opportunity for you to outline three reasons why you are perfect for the position.”

How did you land your dream job?