In Australia, the job interview can be a quite intimidating prospect.

Aussie businesses have a reputation for plain direct speaking and that can catch the unwary off-guard.  It’s also true that there are a number of “faux-pas” that can put you in trouble in the interview before you even start.

Here are therefore a few top tips about how to get ready to get the best you can out of the pending job interview.

Dress appropriately

This is one of the oldest tips around but it remains valid.

Look carefully at the nature of the company you are visiting and the business they are in.  Select your clothes for the day accordingly.

If you’re going to work for a fashion retailer, then they would probably expect you to maintain a certain level of fashion-conscious dress sense.  If you are going to work for a charity organisation, they may expect you to look tidy and presentable but not extravagantly dressed etc.

Think conservative

Whether you are male or female, it’s usually safest to dress both comfortably and relatively conservatively.

The risks of dressing in “challenging” clothes might be higher than those associated with being seen as being a little bit “square”. Play the percentages!

Get there in plenty of time

It may sound ridiculous but you might be amazed at how many interview candidates arrive either late, thereby creating an appalling first impression, or cut it so fine that they arrive looking flustered and exhausted.

Get there 20 minutes early and give yourself time to unwind and freshen up. Also – make sure you use the WC beforehand to avoid feeling uncomfortable during the meeting itself.

Look fresh

No interviewer wants to see a candidate in front of them with red-rimmed bloodshot eyes due to them having been out on the town until 3.00 am the night before.

This is really important.  Get an early night beforehand and make sure you look sharp.  Avoid alcohol the day or night before too.

Do your research

Forgetting the name of the company you are talking to half way through your interview, is a gaff you might be unlikely to recover from.  Yes, it really does happen!

Similarly, make sure you memorise the names of the people interviewing you and their roles.  Forgetting someone’s name, when they may have a significant influence on your future prosperity, isn’t a smart move.

Be confident and positive – but avoid perceptions of arrogance

Few companies want to employ people who are so timid as to be afraid of their own shadow.

You need to be sure of who you are and why you are suitable for the job and project it.  There are special self-confidence techniques that can be applied and some of those are taught in self-improvement and martial arts training centres.

Of course, don’t go too far.  Few interviewers want to see someone who is cocky and hopelessly over-confident.  Make sure you don’t start suggesting to the people you’re talking to, that you know more about their business than they do.

Communicate what you know as much as what you do

Today there is a lot of emphasis on what’s called the “knowledge-based economy”.

It is relatively easy for employers to find people who can do something.  It is much harder to find people that have knowledge across a broad range of subjects.

So don’t focus exclusively on describing your current position but make sure you broaden out into your other areas of expertise and wider life experience.