First and foremost, well done! If you’re preparing for a job interview, then you’ve been shortlisted as a serious candidate for the position. Here are some tips to help you get over the final hurdle: the face-to-face interview.

This is usually the stage where nerves and doubts skyrocket, and while this is perfectly normal, don’t let your nerves take the reins. Instead, prepare, prepare, prepare: the more prepared you are, the calmer you will feel.

Do your research

Research the company you are applying for. Understanding what the company does, and its competitors, will reflect positively on you. It shows you have taken the initiative to research your potential workplace, and are genuinely interested in joining the company because you like the company’s way of doing things and the job you applied for. Those are key characteristics for a happy employee, and highly valued by interviewers.

Study the job description

You should go into the interview with a sound idea of what the job is and what the company is looking for. The job description will help clarify this for you, so ensure that you understand your role and can tailor your answers accordingly. This will help you form answers to questions such as ‘why do you think you are the right person for this job?’

Prepare a set of good questions to ask the interviewers

At the end of the interview, recruiters will tend to ask you if you have any questions. Prepare your questions in advance, otherwise you can run the risk of seeming uninterested in the role you applied for. A question like ‘can you kindly tell me a bit more about the day to day responsibilities of the job?’ or ‘what do you think are the most important qualities needed to excel in this role?’ will help you gauge whether you would be a good fit within the company. We would advise avoiding questions related to pay and holidays.

Dress for the job

Every company has their own policy on dress code. When interviewing for a job, you are auditioning for a role, a part to play within an organisation, so the way you present yourself is extremely important. Put those research skills to work and try to determine whether the company is suit-and-tie business casual, or jeans-and-t-shirt business casual. Either way, try to avoid looking as though you’re going to hit the club or the beach right after you roll out of the interview.

Find the location beforehand

Know exactly where you are going; this will help reduce any last-minute panicking if you get there with five minutes to spare and not a clue where to go. Furthermore, think early: try to budget in travel time to account for traffic and problems in the road.

Smile

Smiling softens the mood and tension in the room. It is said that half an interviews success is based on the way the candidate makes the interviewer feel during the interview and being happy, friendly, and positive is far better than being too serious and uptight. Also, smiling helps reduce nerves, which will automatically make you feel more in control – so go ahead and break out those pearly whites!

If you keep all of the above points in mind, you should be well on your way to acing that job interview!

Next read: What Not to Do in a Job Interview