Money & Politics

October 7, 2011

5 Things You Never Knew about Acing a Job Interview

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Written by: Ralph King
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You’ve finally landed that job interview that could potentially solidify your career. You have a spanking resume and your qualifications are off the charts. However, before you head to your interview thinking that this interview will be a piece of cake (because it always is, right?), here are five things that you should remember:


 1. Dress Appropriately

It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people wear the wrong outfits for their job interviews. Remember to stick with the basics. For men: dark suit, light (not bright) dress shirt, appropriate tie, and dark socks, shoes, and belt. For women: dark blazer, matching pants or skirt, conservative shoes, and limited jewelry. Also, don’t forget about grooming in this equation:  shave, trim you nails, fix your hair, and make sure you smell good. If you’re going into the creative industry, be a little less formal by dressing business casual with a cardigan or perhaps khakis – just make sure they are color-coordinated! Carrying a nice-looking briefcase wouldn’t hurt your chances either.


Please don't go to your interview wearing something like this.


2. Make It a Conversation

Sometimes people go to their interviews over-prepared, and that could be a bad thing. Some interviewees tend to memorize common interview questions and their answers, thus making them sound like robots during their interviews. You have to remember that the one asking you the questions is still a human – so respond like a human.  Avoid using unnecessary clichés such as teamwork and leadership. Also remember to take pauses when you feel like it’s necessary. After conducting hundreds of interviews, don’t you think the interviewer knows by now when someone is bullshitting?


3. Maintain Eye Contact

Making eye contact for some could be one of the most painful and awkward things to do. In fact, some cultures believe that your soul could be read through your eyes. Unfortunately, eye contact is necessary in formal meetings and especially interviews. Maintaining eye contact throughout the entire interview (of course you could look away once in a while – you don’t want to look creepy!) demonstrates not only sincerity but also confidence. Just imagine being in their shoes. Would you trust someone who can’t even look at you in the eye to work for your company?


Don't be afraid to make eye contact. You're not staring at Sauron's eye.


4. Remember to Ask Questions. Good Questions

You’re confident that you have answered each question in the interview properly. Now your interviewer asks you: “Do you have any questions?” It’s common knowledge that you are supposed to ask at least one question, but can you ask a good question? One of the most common mistakes that people make is asking about wage or benefits. NEVER ask those questions. It makes it seem like you already assumed that you are going to get hired.  Instead, research about their company profile and history beforehand or any current events that may affect their company. Then ask a related question regarding the information you gathered to stand out from other candidates. Asking a smart question instantly leaves a good, lasting impression on your interviewer.


 5. Don’t Think Too Much

What could potentially turn your job interview into a disaster is your brain. It’s not that you’re stupid, but it’s human instinct to sometimes think too much. The four tips listed above are key things that you should keep in mind, but once you’re at your interview, you shouldn’t be thinking about what you should be doing. Do a mock interview with a friend or relative beforehand to help you worry less. On the day of the interview, try to calm your nerves and clear your mind. Go to your interview feeling ready and confident.  As long as you’re prepared, your interview will be a piece of cake.

About the Author

Ralph King
Ralph King
Ralph King is one of the two Editor-in-Chiefs of He is a 5th-year Communications student who is passionate about advertising and media studies. His hobbies include obsessing over the NBA and listening to Hip-Hop music. Once in a while, you'll see him strolling the streets with a DSLR.

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