For the past couple of years, I have lived and breathed recruitment and in that time, I’ve come across the good, the bad, the ugly and just the plain bizarre. Sometimes people attend interview after interview with no luck and just don’t know why. What exactly are businesses looking for when they put you in the hot seat? If you have a job interview around the corner, you need to make sure you’re prepared. Here are the top six factors that will make your interview fab or fail:

Research *cough cough* Stalk

Most nervousness in an interview comes from people feeling like they don’t know what to say or why they are there. Do some light research on the company; what do they do? What are they known for? Who are their main competitors? Look up some commercials on YouTube to get a real feel for the image that they are trying to promote and think about how you’d be able to fit into that. Do the same amount of research for the job you’ve applied for – imagine yourself doing the damn thing. If you can already picture yourself in the job, your confidence will naturally start to glow through. 


Kimora Lee Simmons once said “Leave the house dressed as if you’re going to bump into your haters.” Basically, if you look good, you’ll feel good. A dress code will be stated in your interview confirmation email, and 9 times out of ten it will either be formal or business casual. Both terms are quite broad, so don’t feel like you should completely revamp your style. General rule of thumb: keep skirts no more than 10 cms above the knee and wear heels below 6 inches. Pick the type of outfit that will guarantee to have the IG likes popping. It’s important that you feel totally amazing in how you look as this will subconsciously affect your body language and presence in the interview. 

First Impressions

Much like a first date, first impressions at a job interview can either make or break the encounter so you must make it count! How you come across in those first few minutes is subconsciously being judged by the other person. Turn up 10 minutes early (don’t be late!), sit and stand up straight, smile and give a good hand-shake. That first impression counts for a huge majority of your interview.

Pop your Personality

Anyone can be taught anything. But it is your personality that will make you stand out from all the other applicants. Through your previous stalking you will hopefully have a good idea of the overall vibe of the company and department, so do your best to show that you’re someone who would fit right in.  You can’t change who you are for a job, but it is largely what will determine if you get the role or not – whether you’re a right fit for the team – so it’s best to be the best version of yourself. Try to steer away from making any crude jokes, and unless the other person does it first, bringing up politics or religion is a no-no. If you’re nervous and fidgeting, it will show that way. Instead, try your best to come across as calm and confident. Do you what you can to hold your head high.

Show off

You’ve made it to the interview stage, meaning that you looked good on paper and didn’t make a fool of yourself over the phone. I love Kendrick, but I would ignore his advice about being humble. Now is the time to toot your own horn and sell yourself. Remember, I’m telling you to be confident, not delusional babes. Don’t be shy! What skills do you have to bring to the table? Even that crappy fast food job you had in high-school gave you hella skills. Time management, working in a team, writing, sales, communication – the list could go on. Your current skills account for a lot in the job interview. Make sure you’re equipped with solid examples to back up your offering.

Question Time

Past behaviour is a good indicator of future behaviour. For this reason, you will find that most of the questions will ask a lot about your previous jobs. Make sure you listen carefully to what is being asked so that you understand the point of the question. Don’t rush your answers. The person interviewing you will be expecting you provide specific examples so it’s important that you’re concise. Take a sip of water from the glass in front of you if you need a break and to buy yourself some time. If you’re talking too fast it can make you seem a little nervous and over the top. Naturally you’ll talk fast in this kind of high pressure situation, so do everything in your power to slooooooow doooooown. 

Once your interview is winding down you’ll be asked if you have any questions. Always take advantage of this opportunity, it’s a great way to show you’re curious and to create strong engagement with the person sitting across the room. Don’t feel like this is a trick question, as an interviewer we genuinely want to know if there’s something that we haven’t explained to you properly. 

Use these tips to help you when you’re next entering the job interview situation, and while you still may not get the job it will leave a good impression and leave you a little more optimistic for your next try! 

Paid Chinamo

As a recent graduate, I have begun my career in the recruitment industry by exposing myself to both permanent and temporary recruitment in a professional and blue collar capacity. Currently I work as a talent acquisition partner for New Zealand Post, where my responsibility goes beyond just filling vacancies. When it comes to attracting blue collar talent, I aim to ensure that I am using methods that are customer centric while efficient and productive at every step.