How to Ace that Job Interview: Tips from the Pros

22 Sep 2023

Picture this, you’ve just landed an interview. You’re excited, but can’t shake off that nervous feeling you’ve got.  Your palms are sweaty, and you’re desperately scouring online to look for tips and tricks in preparing yourself better. Lucky for you, we’ve got tips straight from the professional recruiters themselves on how you can ace that upcoming job interview.

We asked Belle Orge, one of our recruiters from the Talent Acquisition Team for her expertise. Belle was kind enough to give us handy-dandy advice on everything from resume preparation to first impressions. So, ears up, folks! Let’s hear some wise words, straight from the pros. 

What Should I Do Before My Interview?

Do Your Homework. Whether your interview is virtual or in-person, it’s important for the candidate to study up on their prospective company and job description. Researching the company you’re applying for should start way before the interview process. Through their website or social media pages, try to get a feel for their company values, and engagement efforts. As Belle puts it, “get to know the job that [you’re] going for inside and out.”  It shows initiative and interest – you don’t want to ask about what the company does during the interview itself.

Be sure to check the company’s website and social media presence.

Review Your Resume. Your resume, curriculum vitae (CV), or portfolio is your recruiter’s guide to the map that is you. According to Belle, “It’s a smart move for candidates to tweak their resume a bit to highlight the skills and experience that match the job they want.”  So, make sure that all information is not only updated but to put the relevant details on top of your resume. Additionally, make sure your contact information, such as your email address and phone number are easy to find on your resume!

Make Sure You’re Available! One of the most important tips is that rescheduling your job interview is not a deal breaker, but make sure to let your recruiter know. “It helps maintain a positive impression, and shows that you’re professional and considerate.” Should anything come up at the last minute, make sure you send a quick message to your recruiter as early as possible. 

Online vs In-Person Job Interview

A Fuller Picture. Meeting candidates in person gives the recruiter a fuller picture of the interviewee. “We can pick up on their body language like eye contact and gestures, which helps us understand them better.” It’s tricky to get this experience during in-person interviews, so be sure to wear proper attire and have a good background for your video to give a good first impression.

Interview Atmosphere. In the office, recruiters have a designated space for interviews, “ensuring consistency and a suitable atmosphere for assessments.” The interview room serves as an environment to conduct interviews efficiently with no distractions which you need to set up yourself for online interviews. You will have to take care of setting up your own stable internet connection, quiet place, and proper lighting. 

Be sure to have an appropriate and professional background!

Time and Flexibility. A glorious benefit of online interviews is flexibility since candidates don’t have to worry about travelling. Whether it’s traffic or getting lost, a big struggle for in-person interviews is getting to the interview location on time. Be sure to take into account travel time for your interview and remember to update your recruiter for any delays. 

What Does My Interviewer Want to Know About Me?

One of the biggest reasons why interviews are intimidating is the unpredictability. Not knowing what your recruiter will ask or want from you can make it feel like a recitation day at school. Fortunately, what all recruiters really need is information you already have. It’s all about aligning your skills with the role to ensure that you are a perfect fit. According to Belle, there are 4 main topics recruiters will discuss during interviews:

  1. …a thorough examination of both the technical and soft skills that the job requires.” Remember that soft skills like strong social communication and information processing are just as important as technical skills
  2. We also want to dig deeper and understand what genuinely sparked their interest when they first came across the job description.” This lets the employers know your motivations with the industry and company to align your goals.
  3. Of course, it’s important to discuss benefits and salary expectations, “making sure it aligns with what our organisation can offer.
  4. Lastly, interview questions may revolve around your problem-solving capabilities and how you may handle the complexities of corporate industries. “It’s our way of getting a better sense of how they handle important challenges in their work life.”

Introducing Yourself: Job Interview Tips from Belle!

To ease the worry of “Introduce Yourself” sections in the interview, Belle gave helpful job interview tips to better structure your spiel to give a well-rounded introduction. Introduce yourself through the framework of a journey going through your past, present, and future.

Start off by talking about your “past” or how you’ve achieved your career journey so far. “Share some stories about your previous jobs, the day-to-day tasks you’ve handled, and the technical skills you’ve picked up along the way.” It’s a great starting point to know where you have come from and a comparison to the next part of your introduction.

Moving on to the “present” section, this is where you can talk about your excitement about the new job position. Discuss how it can help you in developing your initial skills. As Belle puts it, “This is the time to show your genuine interest and enthusiasm.

Lastly, the “future” should cover your vision for your role at the company in the next few months or even years. Share with the recruiter or employer what you think you can contribute after fulfilling your training and how you can help with the company’s growth. 

What Makes a Good First Impression?

A good first impression is a lasting impression. How you start an interview can have a significant impact throughout your recruitment process. While it isn’t the sole factor that makes or breaks your chances of landing that job, it definitely helps to do well in an initial assessment.

  1. Effective communication and respect. These qualities are absolutely key,” according to Belle as it’s best to be nice right off the bat and succinct when it comes to your communication with your recruiters. 
  2. Confidence and positivity, “are like magnets for recruiters and hiring managers.” And it’s not hard to see why! It showcases self-assuredness and will allow you to better connect with your interviewers, leaving quite the lasting impression. However, being overly arrogant can work against you. Belle’s take is to, “approach the interview with a mixture of confidence and humility to create the best impression.
  3. Actively participating during interviews makes for an impactful discussion. Showcase your interest in the role and company through thoughtful questions and listening actively for more meaningful interactions.

What’s interesting to note is that a big part of communication happens even before the formal interview begins.” So, it’s best to keep these tips in mind right from the initial emails or messages, before any formal interview sessions. 

Got the Tips, Now Try It Out! 

That wraps up the job interview tips from the lovely Belle Orge! Thank you, Belle, once again for giving these helpful bites of wisdom for our future job hunters.

As a last piece of advice, Belle urges nervous interviewees to “just think of the interview as a conversation between [you] and another professional in the field,” with boundaries, of course. And make sure to review your resume, position description, and company, and you’ll be good to go!

Now that you’re equipped with sufficient interview knowledge, it’s time to do the most important part: getting out there and applying. You can head over to our Diversify Careers Page to check out any openings we may have. Hey, if you’re lucky, you might even be interviewed by our very own Belle herself.