Congratulations on landing yourself an interview! Getting an interview means that the employer is interested to know more about you, how you can fit in and how you can add value to the company. This is a good opportunity to shine- this is the time to show the interviewer that you are the best person for the job by showcasing your bright personality, mindset and skills. It’s not the time to wing it because the chances of getting that job offer, that you desperately want, are slim to none. The key here is to prepare and practice to be in a strong position to be selected for the job. Following are some tips and tricks to get you through the interview.

  • How can I practice for an interview?

Search online for the most common interview questions and answer them out loud. Practice with a friend, family or a teacher who can critique and give feedback on your performance. Listen to their feedback and improve on your answers. This will help you become more confident when it comes to the real thing.

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Another common technique is to use flashcards. Write down each question on a card, shuffle them, pick one and answer the one you pick. By doing this, you will become comfortable at tackling questions in any order and also it aids your memory.

A good way to practice is to video record yourself answering those interview questions. Play the video back to see whether you come across as the way you want to. Observe your body language and your tone of voice- ask yourself “Do I look and sound like someone the interviewer wants to hire?”.

  • How to prepare the day before?

It’s 24 hours before your big day, what should you do? You shouldn’t have to worry too much if you’ve done your preparation. You should feel confident and relaxed but not too relaxed because the interview is not over just yet.

I suggest you do a mock interview one last time with a family member or friend to bump up your confidence. The more you practice, the more confident you will be. Also, prepare questions to ask the interviewer at the end to demonstrate your interest in the company.

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Make sure you’ve got your outfit ready so you can simply slip it on without having to worry about what to wear the next morning. On the day, you should look neat, clean and professional. Don’t walk into that room with pyjamas and fluffy slippers.

Plan your journey well. Your travel plan might be disrupted so make arrangements for that. Perhaps plan different routes to avoid travel disruptions and plan to leave early to reduce your chances of being late. Be there at least 30 minutes before your interview begins.

You need to charge yourself up for the big day by getting enough sleep! If you don’t, you’ll wake up with panda eyes and walk and talk like a zombie. No amount of coffee can fix you. You should wake up feeling alert and brimming with energy.

  • What to do on the day?

The reason I advised you to arrive 30 minutes before your allotted appointment is because it gives you enough time to go to the restroom, do your business and calm your nerves. It’s never a good idea to arrive 5 minutes before because you might walk into the interview room with a piece of leaf in your hair and droplets of sweat down your face. Unsightly.

When you walk in the room for the first time with your dashing attire, smile and greet the interviewer with a firm handshake. A flimsy handshake would not only suggest to the interviewer that you have no muscles, he’ll think that you are not fit for the job. Too strong of a handshake will break his bones. So remember, give the interviewer a firm handshake.

During the interview, try not to be nervous or scared of the interviewer. You’ll stumble on your words and things will just go downhill from there Keep your cool and power through the interview with confidence.

Image courtesy of author ambro

Image courtesy of author ambro

At the end, it’s standard for the interviewer to ask you whether you’ve got any questions. Don’t say no and don’t ask questions that you can easily research online. He’ll think you are not very interested in the job so do your homework and prepare smart questions that you are genuinely curious about.

Take in these tips and the interview process should be a walk in the park. Remember to practice answering common questions with a friend or family member to increase your confidence and your odds in getting that job offer. Practice does make perfect! Good luck and once again, congratulations on your interview!