8 interview tips to help you ace your job interviews in the new year

The start of each year brings with it new changes and challenges. For some, it could be a new relationship, a change in lifestyle, a new addition to the family or upcoming nuptials. 2023 might also be when some are looking for a job – be it as a fresh hire or a career switch. If you fit this bucket, here are some interview tips to help you clinch your dream job in the new year!

1. Do your research

One of the most important things you should do is read up on the organisation before your interview. Hit up their website and social media accounts to get information about the organisation’s vision, mission and products/services/offerings. This knowledge will be useful when you highlight how you could be a good fit for the organisation. Weaving some of the information you gleaned from your research also shows the interviewer that you are interested enough to put in the effort to understand the organisation. 

2. Leave a good first impression

First impressions count! They can have a significant impact on how the interviewer views you and either hamper or help in your building of rapport with the interviewer. For one, make sure you arrive early for your interview as this shows the organisation that you value punctuality. It also helps if you bring along extra printouts of your resume.

Dressing appropriately for the interview is also very important. Clothes should be ironed, free of holes and one should be dressed according to the organisation’s dress code. The outfit should look put together and also be comfortable so that it gives you confidence.

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3. Practise, practise, practise 

Although every interview is different, many interviewers use some similar questions that you can prepare answers and practise for:

  • Sharing about your prior work experiences, skills, achievements, overcoming obstacles
  • Sharing about yourself – in both personal and professional settings
  • Sharing your strengths and weaknesses 
  • Sharing about your future plans 

You can easily find lists of interview questions online which you can run through. It helps to have a family member or friend practise with you to give you feedback as well. Don’t forget what they say – practise makes perfect.

4. Understand the job description well

Most organisations do part of the work for you already by listing very clearly what the role entails and what type of applicant they are looking for. Understanding the job description well helps you share experiences from your previous roles that have helped you hone the skillsets the job requires. Use the opportunity to demonstrate why you will be a good fit for the role and bring value to the organisation through your skills, experience and attitude.  

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5. Have a handy list of references 

Many interviewers from organisations who have a robust recruitment process will ask potential candidates for a list of references. You should have already gone through a list of people you have worked with before and sussed out those who would have a good understanding of your previous work experiences and character and be able to present it favourably. Also be sure to have made mention of this to your list of references so they are not caught off guard as this would not look good on you. 

6. Mind your body language

Your body language says as much about you as your words do so do be mindful about your body language. 

  • Maintaining eye contact shows the interviewer that you are paying attention to what they are saying
  • Giving a firm handshake conveys your sincerity 
  • Nodding to acknowledge when the interviewer is speaking 
  • Staying calm and composed helps you appear confident. Conversely, continually tapping the table, subconsciously playing with your hair/attire might show how nervous you are

Besides being mindful of your own body language, taking note of the interviewer’s nonverbal cues will help you respond better. 

7. Be authentic to build a connection with your interviewer 

Interviewers are human too and they are one of the first hurdles to cross in the recruitment process and making a personal connection with the interviewer will certainly increase your chances of moving to the next round or getting the job. Being able to build rapport with the interviewer also indicates to him/her that you would be able to integrate well into the organisation, its culture and get along with other staff.  Finding common ground/similar experiences, using humour where appropriate, using their names, listening attentively to show you are engaged in the conversation are just some of the ways you can build a connection. 

8. Always have a question at the end prepared 

Most interviews end with the interviewer asking the candidate if they have any questions for them. Rather than missing this chance, take the opportunity to ask relevant questions that further show your interest and understanding of the role. Here’s a list of some of the questions you could ask – but be sure to tailor your questions depending on what was covered during the interview: 

  • Could you share more about how a typical day would look like in this role? 
  • Are there some examples of projects I could be working on?
  • Could you share a bit more about the dynamics of the team I will be working with?
  • Are there skillsets that the team is looking to fill with a new hire and how can I value add in that area?
  • What are some of the challenges someone in this role would face?
  • What are some of the expectations of the person in this role over the course of a year?
  • How does the organisation typically evaluate staff’s performance? 

The process of job searching and going for interviews can sometimes be tedious, especially if rejections come your way after all the effort put in. However, we hope all these tips will come in useful for those who are looking to clinch a job in the new year. All the best!