You only have one chance to make a first impression, which is one of the reasons why job interviews can feel so scary. Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking for a part time job to tide you over while your company takes off, or whether you’re looking to return to work full time for a season, there’s a lot at stake every time you set foot into an interview. It’s easy to let nerves get the better of you but don’t worry, we’ve got three top interview tips to help set your anxieties aside and A-C-E your next job interview.

1. A: Always prepare

Spend some time familiarising yourself with the key responsibilities of the role you are applying for, as well as doing some research on the company. A bonus would be to use an online resource such as LinkedIn to find out a bit more about the people who’ll be interviewing you. Preparing properly before an interview helps to calm your nerves and boost your confidence levels.  Your interviewers will be able to tell you’ve prepared as your answers will have greater insight and depth and this will display your genuine interest in working there.

2. C: Confidence is key

From the way you dress to your body language to your answers, sometimes your success in a job interview will be determined by your self-confidence. If it is clear to the interviewers that you have faith in your own abilities, it will be that much easier for them to have faith in you as well. If you are feeling insecure, remember you can fake it until you make it. Something as simple as a few deep breaths or a smile can help put your body and mind at ease.

It is important, however, to resist the urge to tip over from confidence into overconfidence. The key is to keep your answers professional, not pushy. For example, a common interview question is, “Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?” A tricky one, for sure. An answer like, “In five years’ time I see myself doing your job.” Will only alienate and threaten the interviewer, the opposite of what you want to achieve. Instead, opt for a concise answer which will make it clear you are ambitious and see yourself excelling within the company, but not at the expense of the interviewer’s current position or job. Leave your ego at the door and talk about the experience you hope to gain at the company and the goals you hope to achieve as you prove yourself worthy of more responsibility over time.

3. E: End on a high note

Traditionally, come the end of the interview you will be asked if you have any questions. It leaves a good impression if you do have something prepared but it’s not unusual for all your pre-planned questions to have already been answered during the course of the interview. To avoid finding yourself in that situation, have a few generic questions lined up as well about the run of the office or team culture.

Another thing to bear in mind when planning your questions is that it’s generally better to leave the meaty topics like leave policy or salary expectations for the second round interview. If they are interested, you’ll be invited back and if subjects like salary expectations haven’t already been broached by then, that would be a good time to ask your recruitment manager about the best way to raise the topic.

Whatever happens, remember interviewing is a skill, and like all skills practice makes perfect. If things don’t go well for you in an interview don’t get discouraged, remind yourself you’re walking away with some great experience which you can implement next time around. Keep your eye on the prize because each interview takes you one step closer to landing your dream job.

This article was supplied by www.RecruitMyMom.co.za, a trusted, award-winning, woman focused online recruitment agency. RecruitMyMom respects work-life integration and promotes flexible ways of working.