A job interview will not kill you

Last updated: 6 February 2016

A job interview can feel a lot like a police interrogation, (hopefully) minus the bright lights, handcuffs and lawyers.

While a poor showing at a job interview is never going to see you wind up in jail (again, hopefully), there are plenty of ways to make sure you leave a great impression and maximise your chances of securing that great new job.

Key to everything is confidence.

Feeling like you might not have the skills for the job? Get over it.

You’ve been invited to interview, probably as part of a shortlist of only a handful of candidates, culled from likely dozens of quality applications.

If you’ve made it in the door, your potential employer believes you could do the job, and do it well. They’ve seen your potential, so you should do the same.

You might not score 100% on every selection criteria, but remember that you’ve out-scored most of the other applicants. Remember too that you know the answers to pretty much every question you’ll be asked.

The panel will be asking about you – how you like to work, how you fit in a team, how you handle high-pressure or challenging situations. Answer honestly and truthfully and you’ve got no reason to be anything but confident – you’re talking about yourself, and you’re the world’s foremost expert.

Don’t ever walk into an interview without knowing everything you can about the company.

More than likely you’ll be asked why you want this job, or why you want to work for this organisation. You’re confident in your response, because you’ve done your research.

Please don’t answer the why-you-want-this-job questions with anything close to ‘because I don’t like my current job’ or ‘my boss is a giant haemorrhoid’.

You’re not being asked about your current job. Answer confidently and directly, since you’ve done your research and know that the company is headed in an exciting new direction because of x, and you feel that you can really contribute to y, this should be easy. Even if you’re not feeling take-on-the-world confident, you can still project the impression that you are.

Walk tall – lift your chin just a touch, pull your shoulders back and down. Be confident.

Maintain comfortable eye-contact. Shake handles firmly, but without trying to crush knuckles.

Be confident.