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8 things to do before any job interview



Let’s face it, job interviews are daunting. There’s something about selling yourself and your skill set to an individual who knows no more about than you than the facts (and occasional lie) that you have put on your CV.

To help you feel a bit more at ease during your next job interview, we have asked the top dogs in various industries for their tips on how to not only nab the gig but also do so with confidence.

1. Do a Google deep dive – Mike Soutar, chairman of ShortList Media
“The trick to corporate research is to start on page 10 of Google, not page one. Companies will invest in buffing up their profiles with bland corporate guff, but they know that hardly anyone goes past the first page or two. Page 10 is where the skeletons are buried, or at least the interesting and obscure insights that you can use in your interview will be found. LinkedIn is also an incredible mine of information about company structures and objectives, because even very senior executives will spill corporate secrets in public if they think it’ll get them another job. Sign up for one of the 30-day premium service trials LinkedIn is always pushing and go deep.”

2. Read the news – Darcus Beese, founder and president of Island Records
“My interviews might not necessarily be about the job. I might just want a conversation about the world. So on the night before and the morning of the interview, read the news. Ensure you have a take on the emotional stories of the week. From developments in the region to Stormzy’s latest single, think about what you have to say about the world. Anyone can cram in research and wear the right pair of shoes. But when I pull out a question that someone’s not required to answer, that tells me the fundamentals of their personality.”

3. Research the people – Bana Shomali, founder and CEO of Dubai start-up Service Market
“Don’t just read up on the company. Research the people behind it; the most impressive candidates I’ve interviewed have spent time learning more about me and my co-founder. By showing interest in our personal journeys, they come across as people who genuinely want to be on the team. The best candidates have also taken the time to try out our service before the interview, and have prepared ideas on how we can be better. The extra mile is almost always the most impressive.”

4. Build your confidence – Sue Holt, executive director, ITP
“Close your eyes and take yourself through a mental journey of how much you have achieved during your life so far. Focus on the details of how you felt before and afterwards; learning how to swim at 7; going into an exam you thought you couldn’t do then being told you passed; going on your driving test and the instructor telling you you’d done it. This should put you in a confident state ready for this next exciting challenge.”

5. Look into the eyes of a loved one – Jim Cregan, co-founder of Jimmy’s Iced Coffee
“Eye contact is crucial in an interview – it instils confidence in you and brings with it a massive level of sincerity. So practise it. Get your mum, flatmate, whoever, to ask you interview-style questions and see how long you can maintain eye contact for while you answer them. Simply look into their eyes for as long as possible. It can feel awkward at first, but it works. When you have to do it for real, you’ll feel more natural looking into the interviewer’s eyes when you put a point across, and to the ceiling when you’re thinking of an answer.”

6. Eliminate distractions – Suhail Masri, vice-president of employer solutions,
“There are many things all job seekers must do before an interview, from researching the company to ironing their attire. But if there was one thing I’d recommend above all is to shut off all distractions – and not just silencing a phone. It means avoiding negative thoughts, revisiting previous poor interview situations or doubting one’s abilities. The few moments before an interview should be the time to be confident and excited. Arrive on time, be familiar with names and locations, and relax.”

7. Dress the part – Nadim Ghrayeb, head of marketing, Cadillac Middle East
“The second you walk into the interview room you will be profiled and a lot of pre-conceived notions will be made on your appearance alone. So while this might seem like an obvious one, make sure you look the part and are well-groomed ahead of the interview to give the interviewee a positive outlook before the conversation has even started. It’s amazing how much this is still overlooked, but how you present yourself will elevate the homework you’ve done on the brand and their products.”

8. Punch something – Marc Francis-Baum, founder of Barworks
“Exercise will always help you feel relaxed and energised. On the morning, go to the gym for an hour and have a decent workout. Nothing too intense that you’ll be wiped out, but enough so that you feel the endorphin rush. I’d recommend boxing. Not only is it a great fitness workout, but also learning the various punch combinations will engage your mind and coordination. You’ll feel the lasting effects during the day, through to when you sit down for your interview.”


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