5 Tips for a Successful Job Interview

You’re 5 minutes early, ahead of your schedule. Perfect. You just took your last sip of water to make sure you’re well hydrated. Washroom . . . nope, just went 15 minutes ago while coming off the elevator. You double check the interview room door number and although you see that you’re in the right place with the matching room number, you can’t help but do do a triple check just to be sure.

I believe many of us would behave like the above situation just before walking into an interview. Whether it is your first ever interview or you are a seasoned interviewee, there will always be moments of doubt and a hint of nervousness. That is ok.

I believe an interview is an experience rather than an assessment. It is an experience for the interviewee to showcase and own the floor. This is your stage and the interviewers want to hire you — you simply need to give them a reason to.

Here are 5 tips to help you bring out the best version of yourself for a job interview.

  1. Success is based on your preparation

There is no such thing as an interview adrenaline or transcendence in the moment. You are an accumulation of your practice so practice more, practice hard, and practice efficiently. Talk to yourself, be comfortable with listening to your own voice, be comfortable with feeling uncomfortable when you get a tough question, and prepare yourself both mentally and physically. Plan out all your details like what you will wear, where the interview is, your route to get there, and any other situations you can imagine.

2. Stand your ground and don’t try to profile yourself

Very often, we feel there is a right answer — for example, when asked what are your weaknesses, you may be inclined to give an answer that is not authentic or genuine but you try to profile yourself in a particular way. Don’t try to profile but rather stand your ground in your truest form. The interview is as much as the interviewer assessing you as much as you are assessing them. If you give an answer that doesn’t jive with who they are looking for, very likely, even if you get the job, you won’t be a happy camper.

3) Focus on your skills and attitude, not your knowledge

KSA, remember this acronym. K stands for knowledge, S stands for skills, and A stands for attitude. Knowledge can be taught, it comes with time. Skills are things like your organization, time management, and communication, these are harder to teach but can be moulded. Attitude cannot be taught. Attitude is your dedication, perseverance, and commitment. Showcase your skills and attitude rather than your knowledge. In most cases, if you made it to the interview, there is no shortage of your ability to do the job in terms of knowledge base.

4) Honour your integrity and values

Remember your integrity and values before you walk into the interview, during the interview (especially over tough questions), and after the interview to assess whether you stayed true to them. Your integrity and values is what is going to ground you and no interviewers can challenge you on these. Do you prioritize the safety and accuracy of your work above efficiency? If you do, then own that piece. Do you value relationship with people over the outcomes of a project? If you do, then own that piece. There are no right or wrong integrity and values, but only yours.

5) Be present

No matter how bad you may think your interview went, try to place it in the big picture. There were likely many candidates and among all these candidates, you are selected along with a handful others who made it to the interview, so be proud that you made it thus far. Be present with the moment, remember to breath (literally), and enjoy! The interview is an experience, sometimes a transformative one where you realize something new about yourself and other times an opportunity for feedback, like looking yourself in the mirror.

Own the floor, stand your ground, and if you realize you had a better answer, chances are others made similar mistakes. Now go get that dream job of yours!

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