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Ace Your Next Job Interview with These Top Tips!

Getting ready for your next interview can be equal parts exciting and terrifying. However, the team here at Explore Careers have put together our top interview tips, including techniques, preparation steps and potential questions to help you land your dream job. Follow our guide and you’ll be sure to ace your next interview; don’t worry, you can thank us later! 

Make Sure You’re Prepared 

The first step to acing any job interview is careful and thorough preparation! Start out by conducting a little background research on the company (and the hiring team, too). You can do so by checking out their website, googling the company name or, for expert sleuths, conducting a little LinkedIn stalk. By learning as much as you can about who you’ll be interviewing for, you’ll be setting yourself up with better answers to questions like “Why do you want to work for us?” and “What do you know about the company?” Trust us, you don’t want to be caught off guard.  

Secondly, you’ll want to make sure that you have a firm understanding of the job requirements and key responsibilities. These can usually be found on the job listing, and if you’re unfamiliar with any technical terms, now’s the time to figure out what they mean. That way, you’ll feel confident in your ability to do the job they’ve advertised and talk about why you’re the right person for the role.  

Last, but not at all least, you’ll want to pick out your interview outfit the night before and plan to arrive a little early. A last-minute wardrobe malfunction or late delayed tram shouldn’t make you late, and by doing a little interview preparation, you’ll be in for a much calmer day! 

Interview Techniques and Approaches 

When preparing answers to the hiring manager’s potential questions, one of our top interview tips is to master some tried and true interview techniques. Luckily for you, we’ve listed a few of our favourites below: 

1. The STAR Technique 

Many workplaces actively look for candidates who know how to use the STAR method when answering behavioural interview questions (these are questions like “describe a time when you…”). 

By perfecting your STAR approach, you’ll be in with a better shot to land that dream role! 

  • Situation:  Begin your answer at the Situation stage by describing a relevant situation to ground the interviewer and set the scene. 
  • Task: The task stage of any STAR answer is the point at which you summarise exactly what your designated responsibility was during this situation. Essentially, you describe what you were expected to do in this specific situation. This shouldn’t be confused with the next step, action.  
  • Action: Action is where you can describe how you went above and beyond and exceeded expectations. Provide specific details and state why you chose to take these steps.  
  • Result: The final stage of any STAR answer is where you provide concrete details regarding how your actions helped remedy a situation or produced a desired outcome. If possible, include facts and numbers to back up your effectiveness! 

2. Share SMART Goals 

Sharing your SMART career goals during your job interview is a great way to help hiring managers understand how you’ll fit into their company culture and where you want to end up. What’s more, it also shows your enthusiasm and dedication to your career! 

When creating a goal, follow these five steps: 

  • Specific: Try not to make your goals too broad; the hiring manager will want to know exactly what you’re aiming to achieve rather than getting a vague overview. 
  • Measurable: This part is where you’ll share the ways in which you intend to measure your progress. If you can’t think of a way to do this, you might want to make your goal more specific. 
  • Achievable: Ensure your goal is realistic and achievable! While we all have big dreams, hiring managers want to hear your realistic, short-to-medium term goals rather than big aspirations for fame or wealth.  
  • Relevant: It’s important to have both career-focused and personal goals to keep us on track. However, hiring managers will only want to know about the former. 
  • Time-based: This part is related to making sure your goals are measurable. Give yourself a specific deadline by which you plan to reach your goal.  

3. Use the PRES model 

The PRES model is a fantastic interview technique to optimise your interpersonal performance and put your best foot forward. It stands for Present, Reaching out, Expressive and Self-knowing, and each of the featured elements is great to keep in mind next time you’re in a meeting room!   

  • Present refers to removing all external distractions (like phones and smart watches) to encourage undisrupted engagement with your interviewer.  
  • Reaching Out relates to maintaining a fast reply rate and maintaining contact. This is particularly relevant when you’re scheduling an interview or following up after completing one.  
  • Expressive pertains to delivering answers and information in a high-energy way to inspire and engage your subject.  
  • Self-Knowing relates to knowing your strengths and weaknesses so that you can adapt your approach and do what you do best! 

Top 15 Common Interview Questions  

Now that you have a couple of techniques under your belt, try applying them to some of the most popular interview questions out there. The queries on this list are used time and time again in job interview contexts, so familiarise yourself with them and try to come up with some potential answers. Future you will thank you for it! 

  1. Why do you want to work here? / What interests you about this role? 
  2. What do you know about the company? 
  3. Can you tell us about a difficult work situation and how you overcame it? 
  4. Can you describe a time when you went above and beyond in a work situation? 
  5. Can you tell us about a time when you made a mistake and how you fixed it? 
  6. What type of work environment do you prefer? 
  7. How do you like to be managed? 
  8. Do you prefer working alone or in a team? 
  9. What is your salary range expectation? 
  10. Can you tell us about some of your achievements?  
  11. What are you passionate about? 
  12. What are some of your strengths? 
  13. What is your greatest weakness? 
  14. Where do you see yourself in five years? 
  15. Do you have any questions for us? 

Top Interview Tips 

Even if you don’t plan on using one of the aforementioned interview strategies, we still have some super-easy interview tips to give you a fighting chance.  

1. Use Confident Body Language 

While it can be tempting to hunch over into a ball in stressful situations, it’s not something you’ll want to do in a job interview. Rather, sit up straight, push your shoulders back, unfold your arms and smile; it’ll convey a strong sense of confidence (which is super valuable in interview contexts. If you want to take it one step further, you can also try to subtly mirror your interviewer, apparently it’s a great psychological method of building rapport! 

2. Don’t Hesitate to Promote Yourself 

Very few people feel comfortable bragging, but in a job-interview environment, bragging is the whole point! You want to share all the reasons why you’d be a great hire, so don’t leave out your achievements to stay humble. Trust us; the hiring managers want to hear all about what makes you so great.  

3. Practice Active Listening 

When a hiring manager asks you a question, you want to make sure you’re fully engaged in the conversation and understand what kind of answer they’re looking for. It can be easy to get distracted while trying to plan your next answer, but try it’s best not to fall into that trap. Tune in, build rapport and practice active listening; you’ll forge a much better connection if you do! 

4. Remain Positive 

When the interview draws to a close, make sure you remain positive; the power of positive thinking is no joke! Give yourself a pat on the back for showing up and giving it your best shot. Even if you don’t land the job, attending any interview is a great experience that will get you a little closer to acing the next one. 

5. Follow Up 

It’s good practice to follow up with a thank you email after leaving an interview. Not only does this demonstrate professionalism, but it also shows how enthusiastic you are about working for the company. It’s a win-win! 

Start Scheduling Those Interviews: You’ve Got This! 

With all of our top interview tips in your arsenal, you’re ready to go forth and land the job of your dreams. The team at Explore Careers believes in you 100%, and we can’t wait to see just how far your interviewing prowess takes you! 

However, if you’re still feeling a little nervous, check out some of our other articles on Virtual Interviews and Group Interviews. After reading those, you’ll be ready for anything! 


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