Tips for a Successful Interview

Our tips for a successful interview will help you make a good first impression on your future employers. Stay ahead in the game and get the job you want.

So you’ve finally landed an interview for your dream job. Getting an interview is only half the battle. Now you have to prepare yourself for the big day. Feeling stressed out? Don’t be! We’ve got some useful tips for a successful interview that will secure your spot at the company.

Preparing for Your Interview

Think you can step into your interview and nail it without preparing? You’ve got the confidence down, but you still need to prepare yourself. No interview is the same. You could’ve been to 10 interviews and still be caught off guard. Prepare yourself properly with these guidelines:

Do Research on the Company

Make sure you know all you can about the company. This includes what it specialises in, procedures and daily practices. You may even be able to base your interview answers on these.

Know the Position You are Applying for

We all want to work and have successful careers. But applying for a job and not knowing what it entails, is not a smart move. Take the time to read what is expected of you as an employee in this position.

GPS Your Way to Success

So you’re dressed to the nines and ready for your interview, but you don’t know where it is. Avoid this mistake by finding out where your interview takes place a few days in advance.

Practice Makes Perfect

Go over common interview questions and practice your answers. Recruiters may even ask you to write a test or do an activity at the interview, so practice these skills as well.

Documents you may Need When at the Interview 

Recruiters already have your CV when you sent in your application. But, it is still a good idea to have all the necessary documents printed out when you arrive at the interview. Be fully prepared with documents like:

  • Your updated CV
  • Certified copy of your ID
  • Recent cover letter
  • Certified copies of all your qualifications and matric certificate (if required)
Recruiter interviewing a man while sitting at a table. Follow our Tips for a Successful Interviews and land that dream job!

Cover Your Bases With These Interview Tips

Getting an interview can be difficult when you’re up against amazing candidates. You don’t want to make the slightest mistake that can ruin your chances of getting the job. Avoid errors by covering all your bases ahead of time. 

The Night Before 

So it’s the eve of your interview. You’re feeling nervous and can’t think of anything else but where you see yourself in 5 years. Prepare yourself today and you could be living the dream in the future. You should:

  • Get all Your Things Ready – Prepare your outfit, breakfast, documents and travelling the day before. This will prevent you from pitching up late for your interview.
  • Get Enough Rest – The early bird gets the job. Switch off your TV, lights and log out of your social media and go to be early. This will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for the day. 

Day of the Interview

The day of the interview has finally arrived. Excitement has taken over your fears and you can’t wait to get there. Put the next couple of hours to good use as you make your way to the interview.

  • Dress for Success – Put your best foot forward when choosing your outfit. You don’t need to go all out wearing a silk suit and ball gown. Dress for the position, in a comfortable way.
  • Eat breakfast – Eat a healthy breakfast before your interview. This will help you avoid fatigued and awkward growls from your stomach. Stay hydrated by taking a bottle of water with you.  
  • Arrive at the Interview Early – Leave the house a few hours earlier to prevent being stuck in traffic or looking for the place. Make a good impression before you even start working. 

Do’s and Don’ts of an Interview

Making a good impression is very important at an interview. The way you behave and portray yourself can make or break your chances. Avoid errors and make employers jump to the opportunity to hire you.

Do’s of an interview:

  • Greet employers and recruiters when entering the building
  • Use the toilet before starting the interview
  • Properly introduce yourself
  • Wait for employers to tell you when to sit
  • When asked if you want tea or coffee, you may decline 
  • Turn off your phone or put it on silent
  • Thank employers for considering you after the interview

Don’ts of an interview:

  • Avoid checking your phone when its on silent
  • Don’t talk about salary or money unless asked by interviewers
  • Avoid bad-mouthing your previous or current employers
  • Do not talk about things that does not relate to the interview
  • When questioned, do not lie to employers
  • Do not have a negative attitude or complain about the interview
Employers congratulating a man who had a successful interview after using our Tips for a Successful Interview.

Tips on Answering Common Interview Questions

No matter what industry you’re in, you need to answer a variety of interview questions. Each employer will have specific questions relating to the position. However, there are a few common interview questions asked by most employers. Use our tips to help you answer them.

Tell us more about yourself.

This question can make you forget who you are. But don’t stress. Focus on important things like where you stay and what you studied, as opposed to talking about your hobbies and interests.

What do you know about the company?

So you’ve done your research on the company. Now you can tell them what you know about what they do. Remember to fact check your research and put the company in a positive light.

Explain a situation where you took initiative.

Recruiters want staff with leadership skills. Prove that you are able to solve any problem by recalling a time where you took initiative. Make sure it relates to a job and not a random issue.

What are your salary expectations?

Talking about money at an interview is taboo. But when asked about salary expectations, you need to give a realistic answer. Search the average salary of the positions you are applying for.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Saying that you want to become a model when applying for a finance manager position might not be the best answer. Employers want to see growth, so your answer should be in line with the position you are applying for.

Why should we hire you?

This is where you can really sell your skills to them. Focus on your strengths and tell them how you can contribute to their team. Keep the job post in mind and make sure to include that you are able to perform those functions. But don’t come across as arrogant. 

Do you have any questions for us?

Be sure to ask questions related to the position. Do not ask them random questions that won’t add any value to your interview. You can ask them questions on duties or practices in the department. 

Successful Interviews Without Matric or Experience

Getting an interview when you dont have matric may seem impossible. There are however, recruiters who are eager to give everyone an opportunity and see them grow. Prove you are the perfect candidate even when you don’t have matric and experience. Follow these guidelines for a successful interview. 

Be Honest on Your CV and Cover Letter

So you really want the job? That’s understandable! But lying on your CV and cover letter to get the job will not count in your favor. The truth will be revealed when asked if you’re able to perform tasks. Be honest about what you can do. The only place you can go from there is up.

Highlight Your Soft Skills

Stand out among all the candidates with your soft skills. If you don’t have matric and experience, you can still get the job when you put your soft skills in the forefront. Recruiters seeks employees with:

  • Organisational skills
  • Creativity
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Excellent communication
  • Decision-making skills
  • Time management skills

Gain the Skills

Show employers you are eager to learn the skills you need by studying without matric. This will show employers that you want to gain the skills that will help you upgrade your career and become a success. No need to leave your job, our courses allow you to study part-time via distance learning. Show employers you want to further your studies and get your matric.

Most importantly, remember to relax and breath during the interview. You’ve come this far. We wish you luck with your interview and future career. You’ve got this!

Ace Your Next Interview

Stand out from the crowd by studying a course with us. Use your skills to take you to the top of the corporate ladder. Contact one of our course experts for more information. You can: 

  • Call us on 0800 39 00 27
  • Fill in our contact form for a call back
Last Updated: 8 February 2023