Job interviews can be challenging – especially if you’re new to the workforce or returning after an absence. Meeting the challenge head on and cultivating a positive mindset so you can go into your interview with confidence can really make the difference when it comes to connecting with your potential employer.

Here are a few tips that will help you ace your next job interview:

Before the Interview – preparation is key when it comes to presenting yourself well in a job interview.

Do your research – Find out as much as you can about the company or industry before your interview. By doing this you show your potential employers that you’re organised, motivated and interested in their company and what they do.

Plan your clothes
– Presenting yourself well for an interview is crucial in making a good first impression with your potential employer. Make sure your hair, nails and beard (if you have one) are well groomed. Shower and shave before your interview and ensure that you choose smart, appropriate attire.

Brainstorm possible interview questions – Brainstorm any possible questions you think your interviewer may ask and write down your best answers to these questions.

Plan ahead – Find out ahead of time how long it will take you to commute to the interview, the best places to park, visitor passes, accessibility etc. This will help you avoid any nasty surprises that could chew up time and have you arriving late and flustered to your interview.

Address any Gaps in your Work History – If you have any gaps in your work history consider how you’ll address these and the reasons why you’re ready to return to work now.

Ask for assistance – Rely on a trusted person to help you with your interview preparations. They may be able to help you with transport to your interview, find suitable clothes to wear and walk you through a ‘mock interview’ where you can practice interview questions and answers.

In the Interview – this is where you can showcase your personality to your potential employer

Listen carefully – Interviews are a two way street. Yes you’re there to talk about yourself, but also be prepared to listen to your interviewer too. By practicing mindful listening you’ll pick up on ques about the type of candidate your potential employer is looking for and be able to respond thoughtfully to questions.

Let your Personality Shine – Try to relax and go into your interview with confidence. Employers hire people they can connect with, so show them who you are, why you want the job and what it would mean to you if you were successful!

Reflect on your Experience – If you’re successful in your job application – congratulations! Take a moment to enjoy your achievement! If you’re unsuccessful, reflect and talk to someone you trust on what you’ve learnt from your experiences, what you would change or not change and how you’d do things differently next time around.

Remember – there are many applicants for every job opportunity. Preparing beforehand and going into your interview with confidence and an open mind will give you the best chance of success.

CHESS Marketing Manager Heather is passionate about bringing NGO's into the future through digital marketing and brand storytelling. A big fan-girl of fantasy fiction, Heather enjoys switching off from the virtual world with a good book and a hot cup of joe.