Tips to nailing your next interview

By Dale Young

Published on 16-10-2019

Two women sitting a table table talking

So, you’ve secured an interview for your dream company. Interviews can be nerve-racking, so we’ve compiled some tips to consider when going into your next interview.

There’s no perfect interview scenario and every interviewer will have different requirements of what they’re looking for, capabilities and skills aside. Here is a checklist of things to keep in mind when going into an interview:


Research the company, the role, the history, the leadership team. You can use websites such as Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Seek, and Indeed to research your potential employer. Go through the company’s website and social media channels to familiarise yourself with their business. Go beyond merely reading the company blurb - familiarise yourself with their company initiatives, clients and any other information relevant to the role you are going for.

Ask your recruiter for advice and guidance as to anything specific you should know and understand in advance. You can also use LinkedIn to research your interviewer and potential team.

Know your own CV. You will likely be asked questions taken straight from it, so if you’ve got wins and career highlights in it, make sure that you know the numbers correctly. You don’t want to be caught off-guard not knowing your own history.

RELATED: How to prepare for a video job interview

Prepare yourself for the obvious questions: “Tell me about yourself, why are you interested in this role, why do you want to work for this company?”

Be curious, ask questions

It’s the adage, “you’re interviewing them as well”. Be genuinely curious about the role and the company. Ask questions that will give you more clarity around the role, culture, structure, and environment where you will be working. Questions show passion and interest, as well as being an active and curious interviewee.

Stumped what you can ask? Some basic questions may include:

  • How would you describe the characteristics of someone who would succeed in this role?
  • If I were in this position, how would my performance be measured? How often?
  • What departments/teams does this team work with regularly? How do these departments typically collaborate and what does that process look like?
  • What are some of the challenges someone in this role would face?
  • Based on what has been discussed today, do you have any immediate concerns about my capability to do the role?

Dress appropriately

As we move into an age where dress codes are becoming more flexible, it’s becoming harder to discern what would be appropriate to wear to an interview. The general rule is to dress professionally, but this may depend on the role you are doing for. When in doubt – go the smarter option. If you’re not sure, ask your recruiter for advice as to the company dress code. The main rule of thumb is to be well-presented - clean, tidy, and ironed.

Don’t speak negatively about your current/previous employer

It might be tempting or even feel that it will make you seem more eager for the role, but keep it professional and speak pragmatically about your previous/current employer. Companies are looking for potential employees who are conflict-free and able to overcome different situations. Try to focus on what you’ve learned and gained from your previous employment situations.

Be authentic

Be yourself as much as you can be. Interviews may present a stressful situation, however, you need to present a consistent image that is true to the person you will be when doing the role. Always be truthful about your skills and experience, including any areas for development  – the last thing you need is to land a role you are not well suited for. Most importantly, show your personality and how your values align with the company’s. Employers are looking for values-alignment and cultural fit as much as they’re looking for capability and skills.

Don’t be late, in fact – be early

Plan your schedule to be 10 to 15 minutes early – traffic, roadworks and unexpected situations can happen, so add a bit of fat to your timeline to avoid getting stressed right before your interview. Also note, arriving too early can be an inconvenience to the person you’re meeting with, so arrive ready for the interview 5 to 10 mins prior.

Whatever you do, don’t be late! Even if you arrive just on time but have been rushing, you’ll be flustered and distracted. You want to put your best foot forward, so being late is a big red flag for hiring managers.

Send a follow-up

Speak to your recruiter about the best time to follow up after the interview. Sending a follow-up email is a good way to reconfirm your interest. The follow up should typically focus on thanking the person for their time and asking if there’s anything else you need to do in order to advance in the process.

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