I was asked just recently by someone on how to ace a job application interview. This led me to back track all the interviews I did, and what made me consider a candidate’s application.

I have been doing interviews ranging from job applications, employment verification, and sales potential probing all from my rich experience in background investigation, recruitment and manpower sourcing and sales/ business development consultancy, and it’s only just now that I’m seeing pattern to all these interviews I did.


– If you are applying for a position that requires a specific skill and the interviewer asks you to rate yourself based on that skill, don’t under-rate yourself. Ranking yourself 6 out of 10 is far from being modest. Remember, you are selling yourself here, so go for an 8 or 9. Lack of confidence is a big turn-off to interviewers.

BUT over confidence is also a No-no. The trick here is to showcase that “yes you are qualified for the job” and you “see yourself able to deliver results” not present yourself as the Messiah the company has been waiting for.


– You won’t believe how attire plays a huge part in adding points to your chances of being hired. This reflects your personality and professionalism, as well as that added idea that you went through an effort to look good. This impresses the interviewers.

BUT, over exaggerated attires should also be avoided since this gives the impression of a hard sell. For ladies, a skirt and blouse will do. If you are wearing casuals, just put on a blazer and tidy up your hair. Men don’t need to be in coats, a tie is impressive but not necessary as well. A coat or black jacket will save you if you arrive in a round neck shirt.


– Come clean please. If you got fired from your previous job, just tell it straight. If you need 30 days notice, don’t sugar coat it by saying you can TRY to start in 15 days. We all do background investigation and sooner or later, we will know you were lying.


– Putting a number and email in your CV means one thing -you want to be reached right? So make sure that after an interview, you can be reached. Anticipate calls when you know you just came from an interview. Not doing so tells us you just don’t care whether we get you or not.


– Loosen up. Smile. Laugh at our jokes. Learn to insert a funny anecdote or side-comment once in a while. For every four professional things and serious stuff you utter, add one not so serious comment. Yes, it’s a skill to develop, so practice this with your friends. This shows your humanity to the interviewers and helps us determine if you will fit the company/ department culture depending on your humor type.

Overall, just enjoy yourself during an interview and bottom line is to BE yourself. Capitalize on your strengths, layout your weaknesses (but downplay them), answer based on actual past experiences not in theory. If you are a fresh graduate, you can practicing interviews with your friends as this will boost your confidence and remove all those unnecessary jitters. So please, RELAX!

Good luck!


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