Tips for acing your next job interview

Seven tips for acing an interview (and mistakes to avoid)

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking. You may feel unprepared, nervous, with sweaty palms and an upset stomach. But don’t fret! With these interview tips, you’ll be well prepared to ace your next interview so help you land your dream job. And you’ll know what to avoid, too.

Job interview tips: the do’s & don’ts

Do: Your homework

We're impressed when candidates have taken the time to do some research and learn about us. Since you are here right now, you obviously find value in this, too. Take a look around and learn as much as you can. Being prepared will also minimise your anxiety. Additionally, google your interviewers! No, really. Look them up on LinkedIn and get to know the people who you’ll be talking to. It could be that extra knowledge that helps you shine.

If you’re having a virtual interview, rather than meeting your recruiter face-to-face, make sure to check your connection and test the platform (like Zoom) beforehand. Also, update your login information to make sure you don’t have a funny nickname or cat filter on when you turn on your video. That way, you won’t feel unprepared or frustrated and will be ready to rock when it’s time to start the interview.

Don’t: Come completely unprepared

You’d be surprised how many people show up to an interview without any knowledge of the job or the company. Even though homework can seem daunting, we can tell when you haven’t done it. You’re also more likely to struggle during the interview and that never feels great - preparing for your job interview will make you feel a lot more confident. So give yourself peace of mind and be prepared!

Do: Make an impression

We’re sure you’ve heard the phrase: “it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.” In this case, it’s true! Dress for the occasion. Our advice is, when in doubt, overdress. Obviously, don’t wear a ball gown or tuxedo to your next interview but wear something professional that makes you feel comfortable. If you mean business, show us. And remember…it's not always what you say, but how you present yourself that makes an impact. Even if your next interview is virtual, dress up like it’s face to face. During the interview, sit up and stay focused. If your mind starts to wander, it shows. Your body language can quickly give you away, so be mindful of your posture and your gestures and maintain steady eye contact, even during virtual job interviews.

Don’t: Forget to take notes

We know that when you’re trying to be attentive, it can be easy to forget to take notes. But taking notes is a great way to show us you’re listening. It can also help you call back certain points or ask follow-up questions later on (more on that below).

Do: Be yourself

Composure in the business world is crucial. But so is being yourself. An interview is not only a good representation of how you handle pressure, it’s also your chance to show us who you really are – beyond your CV. Nervous is normal, but you want to take deep breathes and try not to appear too nervous. Maintain an appropriate level of professionalism without being unapproachable. Use hand gestures instead of sitting still and rigid (especially if it’s a virtual interview), and show off your passion and personality the way only you know how.

Don’t: Try to be someone you’re not

If you think we’re looking for a specific kind of person, we’re not. At Deloitte, we don’t want everyone to be the same. In fact, we encourage you not to be! We believe we can only be successful as a firm if our people can be their best selves, each with our own individual strengths, skills, perspectives and personalities. That’s why we work hard to build an inclusive environment, where every one of our people can thrive. So don’t try to become someone who you think we want to meet and hire. We want to meet you! Show us what your CV hasn’t told us yet. Be yourself and let your personality come through.

Do: Ask questions

Interview questions go both ways: When you want to learn more about who we are and what we do, it lets us know you're interested in the role. Depending on what you ask, it may also prove you've done your homework. Before the interview, make sure you've prepared a list of questions that we may not have addressed. And since you were taking notes, also ask questions that may come up during the interview, too.

Don’t: Forget to listen

It’s perfectly fine to ask for clarification on a point already addressed, but if you come with a set of questions that you were set on asking, be sure to listen to see if it’s answered throughout the interview. You don’t want to ask something your interviewer already addressed, as that may seem like you weren’t listening.

Do: Perfect your pitch

Your qualifications got you in the door. Make sure you can speak confidently about any relevant experiences you've had in the workplace, in the classroom or in your personal life, for example as part of a volunteering engagement. Prepare and practice your pitch beforehand. Who are you? What can you bring to Deloitte? Specific examples of how you've contributed to an organisation or learned something exciting are very valuable for us in getting to know you. We see potential in you, so be sure to promote your skills and abilities.

Don’t: Sell yourself short

This may seem obvious, but you’re the one who knows you best. You know why you could be a perfect fit for this job, so be confident and don’t sell yourself short.

Do: Get clarification

If you don't understand an interview question, don't hesitate. Ask us to repeat it. If it’s a video interview, don’t be afraid to tell your interviewer that they’re still on mute or their connection is unstable. We’ve all been there! You have a better shot at giving your best answer if you know exactly what we're asking.

Don’t: Be afraid to say you don’t know

We know from your CV that you’re qualified, otherwise we wouldn’t have invited you for an interview. However, we don’t expect you to know everything before you even start. At Deloitte, we want everyone to be able to grow their own way. Therefore, if something comes up during an interview that you don’t have experience with, you’re not aware of or don’t know the answer to, it’s okay to say so. Ask for clarification and who knows, maybe you’ll learn something new during your interview.

Do: Follow up

It's good etiquette to thank interviewers for their time. Make sure you have the contact details from the person or people that you meet with and write them a quick message thanking them for their time, mentioning what you learnt and how it will help you. And our final piece of advice: reemphasize your interest in the job – we want to know that you’re interested in us, too!