The secrets job interviewers won't tell you

Written by: Georgina Bloomfield
Published On: 15 Jan 2016

Interviews aren’t the easiest of tasks when it comes to finding a job. Having said that, they can be a lot easier than you may think. To succeed at an interview, you want to be able to know exactly what you’ll be asked and how you’re going to answer it. And although we aren’t able to predict your future, we can divulge some of the aspects of a job interview that can get you one step ahead.


Be nice to everyone from start to finish

If you’re in any way unpleasant to anyone in the building –before or after your interview- the employer will most likely find out about it. Whether you’ve just sworn at someone in the car park or if you’re inadvertently blunt with the receptionist, it’ll put you at a distinct disadvantage. A lot of employers will not only ask the opinion of who else was in the interview room, but also the people you would’ve come into contact with on your way in and out of the building. Always be on your best behaviour!

There’s ‘be yourself’ and ‘be too much yourself’

Yes, you should be yourself when you’re in an interview, because if you try to be someone you’re not, your fake attitude will be pretty obvious to the interviewer. However, think about your own personal qualities that might need to be toned down a notch. For example, do you ramble on a bit too much? Do you constantly talk about your kids? Do you have a tendency to fake laugh every two seconds? Everyone has their nervous ticks, but you need to keep the undesirable ones to an absolute minimum.

Perfume can turn into a job rejection

If you’ve just purchased what you think is the perfect perfume or aftershave for an interview, the interviewer might think a little differently. If the role comes down to being between you and someone who hasn’t doused themselves in Chanel No. 5, you can almost guarantee that you won’t be hearing from the company.

Know what confidence is

Don’t get confidence mixed up with arrogance of complacency. If you find you get a bit too comfortable in an interview you’ll come across as careless and possibly unprofessional. It’s a good thing if you’re feeling at ease, but remember to maintain your professional persona at all times. Interviewers don’t like big egos.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate salary

If you can tell during the interview that you’ve impressed your audience, you must try and negotiate the salary where you can. Maybe not in the interview, but if you get offered the job, use the confidence you may have attained from the experience to try and get as much money as possible! It’s very unlikely that they’re going to retract the job offer because you asked for too much money.

If you don’t adapt, you will fail

Always, always adapt to new technologies. If you’re not up to speed with the latest software or machinery in your current industry, you’ll be placing yourself at a real disadvantage to the competition – especially if you’re an older candidate. If you’re starting out in a new industry, then it’s no surprise that you won’t know the latest stuff, but try and do some research and ask about what software you’d be expected to use. Make a point of researching that software when you get home so you can

Getting an interview is closer to winning the job than you think

Because so many people apply for a whole range of jobs each day (and with increasingly simpler ways to apply thanks to the internet and apps), interviewers will actually be looking for reasons not to hire you. It’s easier that way. However, this means getting a face-to-face interview is a sign that there’s a high chance that you’ve already got the job. Interviews take up a lot of time to execute, and the interviewer is unlikely to make time for someone who they’re not serious about hiring already.

I wish I could tell you that a blue tie will work better than a grey one, or heels make more of a difference to flats – but when it comes to interviews, it’s about the overall conversational experience you’ve given to the interviewer. Unless you’re being interviewed by your line manager to-be or someone in your prospective department, you might also find that your skillset isn’t that important. This person will likely have a checklist of certain things you need to know (i.e. software types, certain specialised knowledge) but other than that they probably don’t know your entire job role. As long as they like you, you stand a good chance of being recommended for the position.

If you can read people well and know how to bounce off of their reactions, you might just get your dream job.

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