How to Ace the Interview for Your Dream Job

Originally Published Mar 17, 2021

No matter how many job interviews you’ve done, they’re always nerve-wracking. But as the saying goes, the best defence is a good offence. Long story short, preparation is key to helping you feel as calm and confident as possible going into your next interview.

Here, we’re going over what to say in a job interview, how to make sure you’re prepared, and our top tips to ace the interview for your dream job.

How to Ace the Interview

How to Prepare for a Job Interview

Go over the job description.

Do a deep dive into the job description and highlight the requirements that you feel are your strong points. Understanding what your future employer expects based on the job description is your best starting point to prepare for the interview.

Understand why you want the job.

Once you understand what the employer wants, now it’s time to understand what you want. Why do you want this position? Why do you feel you’re the right fit for this position? Why should this company hire you?

When you really get down to your why, it becomes a lot easier to prepare for anything unexpected that might come up in the interview.

Since you know exactly what you bring to the table and why you’re at the interview in the first place, you can trust yourself to answer the questions honestly and with confidence.

Research the company.

An extremely important, yet often overlooked step in preparing for a job interview, is researching the company. It’s a simple way to impress the interviewer and it helps give you a better understanding of the company’s culture, features, and values.

Research also helps you formulate thoughtful questions, which we’ll go over in more detail below.

How to Ace the Interview

Nail down your hard and soft skills.

Once you know why you want the job and more about the company, you’ll need to get really clear on your hard and soft skills.

In terms of hard skills, what programs are you proficient in? What certifications do you have? What awards have you won?

Soft skills can be a little more difficult to pin down but are almost more important than your hard skills. Are you an effective leader or a strong team player? Are you a people person or amazing at focusing on your own? Are you better at written or oral communication?

Prepare for your interview by keeping your best skills at the top of your mind and bringing them up when appropriate.

Think about what you’ll wear to the interview.

Presenting yourself in the most professional manner possible can help you make a good first impression. Still, knowing what to wear to a job interview will vary based on the company culture.

This is where your research comes into play. Sure, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed, so when in doubt, opt for the most professional look you can manage.

However, if you’re interviewing for a startup or somewhere that prides themselves on their casual work culture, your interviewer might better be able to see you at their company if you dress to their actual standards.

Overall, the best tips for dressing for an interview include:

  • Modest attire that’s not too revealing
  • Collared shirts and slacks for men
  • A blouse or collared shirt and slacks or a long skirt, or a modest dress for women
  • Close-toed, clean shoes
  • For women, a subtle heel but nothing too high and natural makeup
  • Groomed hair and nails and overall good hygiene

Plan your route to make sure you’re on time.

Don’t leave this step to the morning of. The night before, plan out your route to the interview and make sure you give yourself ample time to get there.

While you’ll only want to arrive about 5 to 10 minutes early for your interview. But it’s still better to get there with plenty of time to avoid rushing and unnecessary stress. Kill any extra time in your car or at a cafe instead of frantically arriving at the last minute.

Have most of your questions and answers prepared.

Generally, you’ll be asked the same series of questions in every job interview you attend.

Of course, there might be a few curveballs here and there, so you don’t want to prepare your answers like you would memorise a script, but you can have an idea of your answers to the most common interview questions you’ll likely be asked.

It’s also a good idea to have some questions prepared to ask your interviewer. Doing some research on the company helps as questions invariably come up, but you don’t want to get stuck without having questions prepared. Questions help you seem more interested.

We’ll go over how to answer and ask interview questions more specifically below.

Practise out loud.

Mock interviews are an effective way to prepare for a job interview. You might feel silly, but it really helps to practise answering your questions out loud to ensure that your ideas are in order.

Plus, mock interviews done with a trusted friend or your spouse can mean getting helpful feedback for any blind spots you may have missed.

In a mock interview, practise speaking clearly and confidently while focusing on your body language at the same time. Practise makes perfect after all.

Print your resume and prepare any portfolio materials.

Don’t show up to your interview empty-handed. Although your interviewer might have a copy of your resume or portfolio that was sent through when you applied for the position, it’s always best to bring a copy of your materials just in case.

Plus, bringing any materials that might further support both your technical and transferrable skills will be a bonus.

How to Ace the Interview

How to Answer Interview Questions

From the common, “tell us about yourself” introduction to the dreaded “what is your weakness” interview question, you’ll be saying a lot of the same things in every interview you attend.

Some interview questions will help employers better understand your technical skills. But, overall, most interview questions are trying to get at your soft skills like leadership and strong communication.

So, to help you feel prepared, here are a few common interview questions with solid answers you can make your own.

Q: Why do you want to work here?

A: After learning about your commitment to sustainability and inclusivity, I realised how important it is to me to work for a company that matches my personal values. Plus, I believe the work you’re doing to help people live healthier lives through accessible physiotherapy can be truly transformative in my life. It’s something I hadn’t considered before but I’m so inspired to help people and I’d love to work here to be a part of that goal.

Q: What is your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?

A: I’d say my greatest strength is that I’m a natural leader. I find it so rewarding to step up when my team needs me while taking on the responsibility of setting a good example for my colleagues. My greatest weakness is that I struggle to let go of always being productive and allow myself to rest. But, it’s something I’m working on to make sure I’m always showing up as my best self.

Q: Why should we hire you?

A: I’m passionate about helping people, first and foremost. I’m a fast learner and eager to understand any new skills I might need in this position while bringing my strong leadership, communication, and people skills to the table. In my previous position, I was named Employee of the Month twice and I’m keen to bring my work ethic to help serve your clients. I can start right away and won’t let you down.

What Questions to Ask in an Interview

Last but not least, you’ll want a few thoughtful questions up your sleeve. It’s an easy way to drive home how interested you are in the position.

A few solid questions to ask in an interview include:

  • What does a typical day in the life for someone in this position look like?
  • What’s your favourite part of working here?
  • How will my performance be measured?
  • When can I expect to hear back about your decision?
  • What are the next steps in the hiring process?

Of course, feel free to ask any questions that might have come up during your research or during the interview. But, it’s generally best to ask something!

And there you have it, our top interview technique tips to help you ace the interview. Now, all that’s left to do is get prepared and secure your dream job. Best of luck!

Still looking for more job interview inspiration? Check out our other blogs you might like:


The information provided on this blog is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.

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