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How to succeed in an interview

Interviews can be nerve-wracking, but there are steps you can take to stay calm and make sure you give it your best shot. 

Written by Esther T. |

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"Seize the opportunity to get prepared for interviews, even if you may not be seriously looking for a job".

Interviews are difficult. Worrying about how to get through them is normal, but I’m here give you a more positive perspective, and share with you some advice that can help you through your next interview!

Be optimistic

On your way to an interview, I would encourage you to be composed as you walk in. Imagine that you are the star, and you want to deliver a great performance that impresses everyone in the room. Staying optimistic can really help give a good first impression.

While on your journey, listen to light-hearted music, or any songs that put you in a good mood. Personally, I do this a lot, because music has this magical effect of transporting you to another place and letting you be happy, in the moment.

Another thing I always do is to search for some inspirational quotes. And here is one that I hope will inspire you:

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential, these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”

I strongly believe in the power these words carry. Quotes such as this can increase your motivation to excel, be it acing an interview or finally securing the position in your dream company.

Be your best self

Being your best self means both in appearance and in mind. Look yourself in the mirror for at least 15 seconds and tell yourself “Yes, I am ready.” Cast out the worries of being rejected, or not getting the position you wanted. It’s OK – just give it your best shot.

Another tip is to glance over the company’s dress code. This is highly dependent on company culture and the industry the company is in.

Practice, practice and practice!

Next is the most challenging part. It’s show time! “What am I going to say? How do I answer curveball questions?”

In all honesty, this requires substantial practice. With repetition, you can become more persuasive in your answers to these questions.

Seize the opportunity to get prepared for interviews, even if you may not be seriously looking for a job. Go to a class or a workshop, and reflect on the way you performed. This is also a good way for you to figure out your strengths and weaknesses, and realise what areas you should tackle on so as to improve yourself as a whole. The University of London provides extensive careers guidance, including around interviews. You can watch a recording of an informative webinar on this very subject, and many more careers-related topics, on the Careers section of the VLE.

As for the standard “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” question coming up, I usually use it as an opportunity to link back to the organisation and how I would be a good fit. For instance, if the organisation is very driven to contribute to charitable causes, and I have little experience in this area, I would say that the organisation is a great place for me to accumulate the experience and hone my skills in this area.

I hope that this advice is useful, and to fellow friends across the globe, I wish you all the best!


Esther is studying the BSc Accounting and Finance in Singapore

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