The Perfect Interview


I’m going to start by saying that there is no such thing as a “perfect” interview.

There are only two types of interview: the one that gets you the job and the one that doesn’t. There is no step-by-step guide which can guarantee you success. Granted, that may seem like quite a negative start but you have to be realistic. You cannot get yourself a job through a “quick fix” solution. What you can do is maximize your chances of getting employed by knowing what interviewers like and, sometimes more importantly, what they don’t like. So let’s get started.

You will have all heard the phrase “Location, location, location: the three things that matter in property.” Well preparation, preparation, preparation is the most important thing for an interview. If you want to have any chance of succeeding and impressing your interviewers you have to prepare because (and I promise this will be the last cliché phrase I will throw at you) “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” But it is most certainly true. If you haven’t prepared, it will become very obvious, very quickly to your interviewer and that means you don’t get the job.

So, what should you do?

First, research the company. Read their mission statement; get to know what they’re about, how they work and learn about some of their history. Think about how you could fit into the company and convey this to your interviewers. This shows them that you are interested and dedicated.

It is also important to prepare an outline of what you are going to say. However, DO NOT over-prepare to the point where you are practically reciting paragraphs you have written. It will be obvious to the interviewer and if you get caught off guard you may crash and burn. Know your strengths and think of possible answers for classic interview questions;


  • What are your strengths? (And possibly the more frequently asked, what are your weaknesses?)
  • Why did you leave your previous job? It is very important to know your CV as they will most likely ask you about previous roles you have undertaken
  • Why should we hire you? This is where you can combine your strengths and experience with the research you have done and impress the interviewers

Finally, you want to prepare some questions to ask the interviewer(s) at the end. They will ask you if you have any questions. You want to show them that you are interested in the company. Now, the questions to ask will depend on how the interview has gone and what job you are applying for but, some typical questions which you can ask are:

  • What is the business environment/culture like?
  • What opportunities are there for advancement?
  • What is the dress code?

I would avoid asking about salary straight away as you don’t want to seem too pushy and the interviewer will probably bring it up anyway.

So, there’s a few things you can do before the interview to maximize your chances of success. But what should you do during the interview to make sure you impress the interviewers?

Let’s start with the first impression, as this is one of the most important aspects of any interview and it is very difficult to impress after a bad first impression. Get there on time and if you are running late let the interviewer know. You also want to dress appropriately. In my opinion you should dress like the person who does the job that you want to do in the future. Maybe you want to be a CEO, so dress like one. Looking smart isn’t going to work against you. The handshake is also an important moment in the interview. Give a good, solid handshake, make eye contact and smile. Don’t look at the ground or give a weak handshake as it creates an uncomfortable atmosphere.

Now, once you are in the interview room there are certain things that you want to do to increase your chances. As I have said there is no list of interview tips which you can follow so you are guaranteed a job. However, there are certain things which are essential in any interview which if you don’t do will probably result in you not getting a job.

  • Firstly, maintain eye contact and really listen. You want to respond to everything they are saying effectively.
  • Remember your plan. Pick up on opportunities to impress the interviewer. For example when the interviewer asks what you know about the company, show them that you have done the appropriate leg-work and make it relevant to you and how you would fit in.
  • Be positive. Everyone likes an upbeat person, someone who will get along with the team.

Finally, when closing the interview, end with a handshake and thank the interviewer(s) for their time.

I’m not going to tell you that if you follow this advice that you are going to succeed in your next interview. However, you can most certainly maximize your chances.

Good Luck!

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1 Comment

  1. How to Master the Phone Interview « TM International

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