Cheeky Guide: Nailing a job interview
Updated: Jan 19
Have you hopped on Google for help before a big job interview only to find tips like ‘dress well’ and ‘don’t be late’? I got you. Here are seven tried and true job interview tips that will help you be as prepared as you can for the big day.
I can confirm I was offered a job because I didn’t seem ‘too desperate’ for it. It’s great to be excited about the new position, but don’t overdo it. Use phrases like “I think this sounds like a good fit,” and “I think I would be very well-suited to the role,” instead of “that sounds amazing!”
Make it about them
In some interviews you’ll be asked why you’re leaving your current position, and usually the real reason is not the one you should give. Make your answer about the new company you are interviewing for, eg. “I enjoy my current job, but when I saw the job advertisement for this position, I knew it was a great opportunity because it has everything I am looking for in my next step.”
On the night before my first ‘real’ job interview, I was given some advice from someone who had been in the industry for much longer than me. I must admit I didn’t really follow it that time, because I really just wanted a job, but I have followed it since. He reminded me that a job interview was not just them interviewing me, it is also my interviewing them. Ask questions that will give you answers to the parts of the position you’re not quite sure about, and ask for clarity when you need it. It looks good if you are shown to be interested in the company, and you will be able to gather the information you need. It’s a win-win!
Make a joke
If the interview isn’t super buttoned-up, make a joke or light-hearted comment. This will show you are being your true self, and will help give an indication as to whether you will be a good fit for the team. You don’t have to pull out a knock-knock joke, but saying a funny comment can be slipped in naturally. For example, they might ask you what your three best qualities are, and you might say “I have excellent time management… You should see my colour-coded Google calendar!” Light-hearted, cheesy, and a lil flex: the holy trinity.
Determine what you really want in a job
When describing a dream job, most people will give a title, salary, or company. But those elements are not what will get you through day on day. Consider the details that you have enjoyed in previous roles, like having a team of a certain size, having autonomy, being trusted by your boss, having direct access to customers, not talking on the phone a lot. These are the things that make a job enjoyable or completely insufferable. Which leads to the next point...
Enter with your non-negotiables
No, we’re not talking salary. Have a list of things you have experienced in other jobs that you never want to go through again. Maybe your previous manager didn’t understand your position, maybe there were a few tasks you couldn’t stand, maybe you wasted your time in too many meetings. Ask the interviewer thoughtful questions that don’t give away too much, for example, “how much of the successful candidate’s week will be in meetings?” or “What is the approval process?”
Ask for a salary range
If you’re asked about the salary you’re seeking, give them a range of five or ten thousand dollars to see what they come back with. If you give a range and they come back on the higher or lower end, it will say a lot about how much they value the role. If you’ve asked for $60 000 to $65 000 and they offer $64 999, that is a huge, billowing green flag.