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How to Ace Your Job Interview

by Kevin Yapjoco
31 Jul 2017 | 2:10 PM

You're probably going to experience a fair number of job interviews during the span of your working life. You may be preparing for one now. You might be feeling a little anxious, a bit excited, and a lot confused. But fret not. We've got some tips for you to keep in mind in order to make that best first impression. 

A study conducted by the Stanford Research Department uncovered the science behind first impressions. The results indicated the things that people consider when they meet you for the first time. According to this, what you say during your first interview only accounts for 10%; 20% depends on your tone of voice, and 70% relies on how you present yourself.

On Image - The Seventy Percent

It's important that you're groomed and well dressed for your interview. Make sure that you're well-rested and have enough time to prepare so that you won't feel rushed.

It's ideal that your hair is well kept. Unless you're applying at a creative agency, it is best to go with a traditional haircut; a classic taper would do. Use a matte styling product to keep your hair in place. As for facial hair, a clean shave is the essence of good grooming, and will likely give your potential employer the best impact. If you're keeping your facial hair, be sure to keep it short and neat. 

Contrary to what other people might recommend, avoid being overdressed or too trendy. Depending on the company you're applying to, it might be wise to check what type of dress rules they have, if any. You can never go wrong with a smart casual outfit: a pair of blue or beige dress pants with a white dress shirt will do, with a pair of dark brown office loafers. Not too formal, but not too casual, either. 

On Tone - The 20 Percent

How you deliver an answer to a question makes a difference as to the impact you have on a potential employer. You can talk about your skills and capabilities, but if you don't sound confident enough, you won't inspire an employer to hire you.

Listen. Keep your tone interested and engaged, and try to refrain from "tuning out" of the conversation. To avoid using fillers like "uh," "um," and "like," you can take a deep breath and pause after each question. Use this time to think about what you'll be answering, and then deliver.

They key is practice, practice, practice. 

On Substance - The Ten Percent

During an interview, 90% of the time is dedicated for you to shine. While looking good and sounding confident helps, knowing your stuff is as important. Here are some of the questions you'll probably encounter.

Tell me about yourself. Focus on your current job and what you do; if you're a fresh graduate talk about your degree and your extra-curricular activities. You may also mention your interests and hobbies.

Why are you fit for this job? Highlight the skills and abilities that you can apply in the job. Here, you can talk about your achievements, as well as why you'll be an asset to the team.

If situation X happens, what would you do? Share similar predicaments that you've handled. Highlight the good points and also talk about your recommendations on how you could have handled the situation.

They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. So before you walk into an interview, make sure you've come prepared.