Nailing The Interview

05 Jul by Alicia Vroegop

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There are no guarantees in life, but there are things you can do to improve your chances.  And when it comes to landing your new job – there are some simple, but very effective things you can do to give yourself the best shot at nailing it!


This concept is a very helpful one for the interview.  Living in the moment, undistracted by worries, plans, people and technology, helps to reduce anxiety, focus the mind and really soak up the experience: 

  • Switch the phone off before you’ve walked into the building. We can’t stress that enough.

  • Get to the interview early - this creates space for you to sit, breath and collect yourself before the interview.

  • Try to avoid sandwiching your interview between important meetings. It can create stress and the potential for you to be distracted, and not fully focussed.

  • Bring you, your skills and your ideas to the table – not your grievances or baggage.


There are some questions you can almost guarantee you’ll be asked, and if you aren’t prepared, you may as well see yourself out.  Questions like:

“What do you know about us?”

“What appeals to you about this job?”

“What questions do you have for us?” 

If you do the research, the interview will make sense, and you will be more likely to answer questions with confidence.

  • Research the company – use websites, news articles, LinkedIn or your recruitment agent for sources of information.  

  • Read the job description!  You need to know where your skills will add value, and where you will be challenged to grow.  There may be things you need to clarify – and the interview is the place to do that. Additionally, reading the job description will provide important clues on what the interviewers may ask about.

  • Have some questions prepared, or examples of work you have done if you think it will support your application.  The interviewers will be impressed that you have really prepared, and it’s likely that you. For example, if you read that one of the competencies required for the role is “perseverance”, go prepared to provide an example of a time when you faced a major setback, and how you still achieved your goal by finding a way through.



This is about respect:  Get up. Dress up. Show up.

So many people have let themselves down by looking like they walked straight out of a laundry basket.  Dress well, and if you are unsure of what to expect, ask the agent. They will let you know what will go down well, and what won’t.

  • Be on time and have everything prepared in advance – if you need to prepare a presentation, take two forms of it (digital and paper) just in case.

  • Research the time it’ll take to get to the interview and aim for 10 mins early. 

  • Get the interviewer’s number so you can text or phone if there are unexpected issues – like having a whole building locked down before 9.00am when your interview is at 8.30am.


4.   BE YOU

There is nothing more refreshing than authenticity.  If you try too hard to be the person you think they want, everyone is going to end up in the disappointment room.  Being you at interview doesn’t mean being casual or flippant. It doesn’t mean that you bring your surfboard to the interview if that’s what you do in your spare time.  It just means that you bring your authentic self, you answer honestly, you drop the ego, the bravado and the pretence (everyone sees through that act). Be honest about your successes, be honest about your challenges. 

If you are a sales ‘rain-maker’ but really struggle with admin and report-writing, say so.  Because if the role is right for you – there’ll be sales support. If you aren’t honest, the job will find you out – and that outcome is far worse than being told ‘no’ after an honest interview.