Five tips for a successful job interview


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A successful job interview can change the path of your life, setting you up for your dream job and the start of a great career; on the other hand, a failed interview may stymie those chances.

Yet with preparation and a positive attitude, you can significantly boost your chances of landing your dream job.

The labour market is very strong, so the time has never been better to look for a new job.

five interview tips to help you land your dream job

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the unemployment rate was steady at 3.5% in March  2023. Full-time employment increased by 72,200 to a record high of 9,748,900 people, while the total number of people employed also hit an all-time high of 13.9 million.

With so many jobs around it may be worth looking for a new one to boost your income or job satisfaction.

If you do land a job interview, it is your opportunity to showcase your skills, personality, and fitness for a job. Your prospective employer will also be assessing whether you are a good fit for the company and looking at your every move and comment.

Over my years of having interviewed many job candidates, I think these are the five most important tips for acing a job interview.

1. Research the company and the job

This is one of the most important job tips. Before any job interview, take the time to research the company or organisation.

This will help you understand its mission, values, and culture and enable you to tailor your answers to fit the organisation.

This will help you illustrate your fitness for the role and the company's culture.  Doing research will also show the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in the company.

2. Practice answering common interview questions and know your worth

There are many common interview questions that you can prepare for, such as "Tell me about yourself" or "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" "What are you looking for," "What is your asking salary?".

Practice your answers beforehand, so that you feel confident and prepared during the actual interview. Keep your answers to the point and don't start going off on a tangent.

If you are asked what salary you would like, know your worth. Be aware of what the prevailing market salary is for your job and ask for it if you are currently paid less.

Speak to a recruitment consultant that specialises in your field. You could also search up current salary surveys for your position, with the same level of experience, before the interview.

3. Be confident and assert your strengths

Confidence is key during a job interview.

Be prepared to talk about your skills, experience, and accomplishments, and don't be afraid to ask questions or clarify anything that you're unsure about.

Many women, in particular, are reluctant to talk up their skills as the tall poppy syndrome is well entrenched in Australia.

However, if you're in a job interview, you need to talk up your abilities - be proud of your achievements and be ready to share success stories.

Explain clearly how you can add value to the organisation.

Your body language too is very important. Speak clearly, maintain eye contact, and be enthusiastic about the new opportunity. You should also avoid negative comments about your current or previous employers; stick with positives.

4. Convince the employer your values align

These days, all organisations are talking more about their values.

So, make it a point to investigate what an organisation's values are and their company culture and examine whether you sit comfortably with them. If you like the employer's values, then state what you like about them in the interview.

This is important, as it shows your knowledge of the organisation's values.

When an employee shares similar values with their employer, it can help to foster a sense of shared purpose, which can positively impact productivity and job satisfaction.

However, if an employee's values clash with those of the employer, it can lead to tension and conflict in the workplace.

For instance, if an employee values work-life balance and like to have some choice to work from home, but their employer expects them to work long hours in the office every day, this can create stress and dissatisfaction for the employee.

Therefore, it's essential for both the employer and employee to ensure that their values are aligned, and that they share similar expectations regarding the work environment.

5. Follow up after the interview

Send a thank-you email or note to the interviewer after the interview and check if the employer has any questions or need any more information about your suitability for the role.

This will help you stand out from other candidates and illustrate your enthusiasm for working for that organisation.

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Kris Grant is CEO of ASPL Group, a management consultancy, training and recruitment firm. She has a passion for inclusion in the workplace. Kris holds a Bachelor of Business from RMIT.