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Do your research

No doubt your mind is swimming, but there’s no time to waste. If you’ve landed an interview, you’ve got some idea what your potential new employer is all about, but now it’s time to hone your knowledge.

We’re living in the information age, so there’s no excuse for ignorance. Get online and find out all you can about the company in question, using every research tool at your disposal – from Wikipedia, the company’s website, their LinkedIn and other social profiles, and any articles or blogs released from subject matter expert employees. The more insight you can get into your potential employer’s business objectives, the more you can tailor your interview plan and align your skills and attributes with those of the company.

Doing your research will also help you determine how to present yourself on interview day. Should you wear a suit and tie, or is it a more relaxed workplace? (Giving your social media presences a bit of a once-over at this stage is probably a good idea…)

Practice makes perfect

Think about the type of job you’re going for – what type of questions would you ask if you were interviewing potential candidates? Based on the level of responsibility of the target role, it should be fairly easy to anticipate the type of queries coming your way.

Use the tools available online – prepare some answers to commonly asked interview questions. Once you’ve got these draft responses, either have a friend sit you down for a mock-interview, or film your responses on your mobile for review.

The more comfortable you get answering questions, the better prepared you’ll be on the day.

Stay calm & connect

As cruel as this may be, it’s a fact that first impressions count. When you meet your potential employer, try to stay as calm as you possibly can. Projecting confidence shows that you’re comfortable with your history, skills and attributes, and that you can operate under pressure.

Once you get into the interview, get a feel for the room, and follow the lead of your hosts in setting the tone for the meeting. Depending on whether the atmosphere is formal or relaxed, showing you can pick up on social cues and connect with people on any level will make sure you’ll be remembered when it comes time to make a decision. No-one ever got the job by being a deer in the headlights. Just remember:

Simple stuff

Make eye contact and control your breathing.


Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t understand something.

Think, then speak.

Take a moment to consider your responses before opening your mouth.

Turn the tables

There comes a time in each interview when the employer will ask if you have any questions for them. Don’t let this chance slip.

Have a couple of questions prepared. Ask about the company, its culture, opportunities for growth and the team you’ll be working with. These sort of questions will not only help you make an informed career decision should you be offered the job, it will show any potential employer that you’re serious about your future, and that you consider the job a partnership that has to benefit both parties.

Be ready to start

There’s no harm in being prepared, right? If you’re vying for your first job, make sure you can accept the offer with confidence when you get the call you’ve been waiting for. That means having your tax file number sorted, as well as setting yourself up from a financial perspective as well.

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