Inspiring interviews: how to prepare for an interview, in person or online, and then nail itJune 6, 2022Career Advisor

The Unigrad College Principal, Riaan Loubser says one of the most often asked questions by students is “how do I know that I’m well prepared for a job interview”. 

When you apply for a job, you usually have some sketchy image of the company you wish to join, say Loubser. 

To prepare for the interview, gather as much information about your prospective employer as possible.  Sources of such information may include the company’s website.

Here are some tips to help you make a good impression during the interview:

  • Plan to arrive early to allow for delays. Obtaining a visitor’s permit at security may take some time and you may have to fill in a job applicant’s form before the interview.
  • It is best to look smart and professional.
  • Stand and sit up straight with shoulders square, head high and project self-confidence.
  • Be polite to receptionists and other staff members, who might give ‘feedback’ on your behaviour.
  • When you enter the office, walk tall, make eye contact with the interviewer and introduce yourself, using your first name and surname. Smile as you do so.
  • Wait until you are invited to take a seat before sitting down. Then sit down comfortably, folding your hands in your lap.  Don’t put any of your possessions on the interviewer’s desk.
  • When you address the interviewer, use his or her title and surname, for example, Professor Mnisi, Doctor Green, Mrs Watson.
  • Answer all the questions logically, intelligently and confidently. Formulate your answers clearly, briefly and politely.
  • Be careful not to be too friendly or familiar. Make sure that all your actions are correct, courteous and professional.
  • Be prepared to answer questions on your goals and expectations.
  • Don’t enquire about subjects such as leave, salary and benefits too soon. In fact, it’s best to wait for the interviewer to address these topics.
  • After the interview, stand up immediately, thank the interviewer for their time and leave at once.

Tips for Online Interviews

  1. Dress for the job, don’t wear your pajamas.

It’s essential to wear something professional if you want to make a good impression and it will make you feel more business-like.

  1. Stage your video area.

Keep in mind that the interviewer isn’t just seeing you, they’re also seeing whatever is behind you. Arrange your space so that your camera isn’t facing a pile of dirty dishes or the laundry hamper.

  1. More light is better.

Video quality is dramatically improved with more lighting. And don’t you want to be seen now that you’ve gone to the trouble of putting on actual clothes? An extra nearby lamp is usually helpful. Just make sure the light is in front of you, not behind you – being backlit makes you harder to see.

  1. Try to look into the camera.

When answering the interviewer’s questions, looking into the camera will give the appearance of eye contact.

  1. Do a test run ahead of time.

Make sure you do a test run so that you’re aware of your audio and video settings before the interview starts.  

Riaan Loubser is the Principal at Unigrad College.  For info on Unigrad College visit or visit the campus 34 Ferreira street, Mbombela (Nelspruit). T: 013 755 3503  |  | WhatsApp Msg 0760691993