How to Succeed at Job Interviews


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Most people get anxious in the face of a job interview, and usually spend the previous night tossing from side to side picturing the worst possible scenarios imaginable. It is human nature to have a psychological reaction to being interrogated, and our body reacts accordingly making us nervous, uncomfortable and sometimes nauseous.

Some people however, relish in the opportunity to express their ambitions and flaunt their expertise. These people either understand the dynamics of the interview process, or they have a natural talent for communicating and expressing their ideas. Those with natural talent will always do well, but the ones who understand the dynamics will always do better. If you are lucky enough to have both then you will never have a problem getting the job you deserve.

For the majority of people who do get nervous prior to the big day, I have a few pointers that will make your interview go smoothly and increase your chances of getting the job. This applies to all industries and all professions! From Waiter to Executive- the principles of human interaction are the same.

Let’s dissect the Interview Process. There are normally two players, the Interviewer and the Candidate. One wants to give work, the other wants to work. Already we can see that the goals of both parties are the same. So let’s look at some basic tips to get you going, but first, remember that the interviewer wants to find someone as quickly as you want to find a job!

1. Prepare! Do your research! Know the company, know the interviewer, and know your stuff! If you don’t do this, don’t go!

2. Visualise the day. Getting up feeling great, getting dressed looking good! Nailing the interview, and coming home victorious.

3. Train your mind! Pinch yourself hard every time you get a negative thought and immediately replace it with an empowering one. Ex. “I’m never going to get this job” pinch hard “I AM going to get this job because I am prepared and the best person for it”

4. Do not drink coffee, alcohol etc the day and night before the interview.

5. Prepare your clothes NOW! Be sure to wear appropriate clothes, and be sure you feel comfortable! Take off excess jewellery! Guys lose the earrings and bling, I don’t care if it’s who you are, and that it’s about the person and not the image! If you want the job lose the chip on the shoulder!

6. Go to bed and say to yourself “I am ready; I will have a great interview tomorrow!”

7. Wake up with plenty of time and have a proper breakfast- nothing heavy- some cereal and fruit, some OJ. If you normally have coffee, then have 1 cup!

8. Repeat to yourself as you get ready- “I will have a great interview; I will have a great day!” It’s cheesy, but just do it! Over and over!

9. Travel with sufficient time and sip on a bottle of water on your way.

10. Arrive 15 min early and go to the toilet! 2 reasons! To get rid of the coffee, OJ and water and to look in the mirror and say. . . “I look good, I feel good”

11. Walk in with your head high, shoulders back and smile.

12. Greet with a firm handshake, a smile and a “Good morning Mr. /Mrs Blah, How are you today!” Remember to look them in the eyes and smile, never look down!

13. Create Rapport- Try a little small talk; this will give an idea of the type of person you’re dealing with. Remember it’s never personal to start. Some people want to chat; others want to get straight to the point. Read your interviewer and match his style.

14. Sit like he/she sits. If they cross their legs, do the same. If they lean back, do it. If they lean in toward you do the same! Don’t do it instantly, but gradually and discreetly imitate their movements!

15. Copy their tone. If they are loud be load. If they speak quietly, do the same. These are advanced techniques and to explain them all here would take days. Just trust me!

16. The WEAKNESS question! Always answer, never say you don’t have one, but do make your weakness sound like a strength. Ex. “My weakness is that I am never satisfied with things, I always try to improve on the things I’ve done. It gets on my wife’s nerves; she says I’m a perfectionist. ” Get it!

17. Answer as if you already have the job. Instead of saying “I would do this and that”, say “I will do this and that”. Works wonders, just don’t be arrogant!

18. Use “Successful” words. For example, accomplished, achieved, built, developed, succeeded etc.

19. Ask questions. Have a list of questions prepared it comes across very well.

20. Thank them, and be sure you get a timeline of when they will get back to you. Now go home and have a glass of wine! Well Done!

Remember, don’t let a few setbacks dampen your spirits, instead re-enforce the process and get better. Most interviews nowadays are Behavioural Interviews, which means most questions will be about how you dealt with situations in the past. The theory is that the way you handled things in previous jobs and situations, is a good indicator of how you will handle them in the future. Be prepared! Be Confident!

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. ” Aristotle

Ricardo Leal was born in Portugal in 1974 on the dawn of the Revolution. He immigrated to Canada with his parents at the age of 6 and studied in Canada. He obtained a Business college Diploma in Finance and Marketing and launched his first business at 22- Conquest Productions, an Event Planning and Production Company. He then opened his 2nd Business at 25, a nightclub called ‘Mambo Bar & Grill’. He sold his share in 2001 and moved to London, England. In England he has worked with large Leisure Companies and has coached and produced great Managers and Leaders for a wide variety of Businesses. He is currently writing his first Non Fiction Book, and has recently launched 2 new businesses, Tappy Toes, a childrens Dance/Movement Business, and his first Internet Venture still under construction. Check out his Success tips at


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