Nailing that interview

theaccablog —  October 27, 2015 — Leave a comment

Your resume has stood out amongst thousands to make it past the scrutinous eyes of the recruiter, to secure a face to face interview.

This is your one and only shot to wow the interviewer and stand out from the others.

So, where do you start? How do you prepare for the interview that could help land your dream job?

Rick Chan

We caught up with Rick Chan FCCA, Partner and Head of Audit & Assurance at Mazars Singapore, to find out what he looks out for during an interview.

By the time a candidate gets to the interview stage, they probably would have satisfied the work requirements and skills criteria, what other qualities or personality traits do you look for in the candidate during the interview? 

When assessing candidates, we look for someone who is not only proficient in a particular function, but who also has the right personality.

Candidates must highlight the soft skills that can give employers an idea of how quickly they can adapt and solve problems, whether they can be relied on to follow through on tasks, and how effectively they can lead and motivate others.

  • A multitasker. Those who are willing to come out of their roles and do whatever is necessary
  • A strategist. Those who can identify long-term goals, and have not only a vision for the future, but a plan to get there.
  • A decider. Those who can use their own judgment and take decisive action.
  • An independent thinker. Those who challenge the status quo if it’s better for the business, and not go along with everything the boss says, without question.
  • A cultural fit. Those who embody the values of the organisation in their everyday lives.

What are some of the basic do’s and don’ts that a candidate should be aware of? 


  • Wear the right outfit
  • Bring copies of your resume
  • Have a nice folder for your resume
  • Have the appropriate body language
  • Give the right answer to the ‘weakness’ question
  • Be on time or slightly early
  • Prepare the right questions for the interviewer
  • Send a thank you note


  • Think the interview is over until you walk out the door
  • Get too relaxed
  • Badmouth your old job
  • Be unprepared
  • Address salary or benefits until the interviewer does
  • Freak out if you don’t know the answer
  • Lie
  • Talk about your problems

What are some of the most common mistakes that candidates make and how can they avoid making them?

Failing to sell yourself

During an interview, the hiring manager is determining the candidate’s fit with the organization and position.

Candidates should connect their experience and skills with the position at hand. They should come to the interview with confidence that they could be the right fit for the job.

Arriving unprepared

Candidates need to know as much as possible about the company and the position before the interview. Many hiring managers ask simple questions about the organization and the position.  Others may go further in depth, asking about recent news or trends.

What are your pet peeves that candidates make during interviews?

  • Not doing your research
  • Talking too much
  • Failing to ask questions
  • Getting too personal
  • Showing up late
  • Dressing inappropriately
  • Using too much perfume

What other qualities and soft skills do you look out for during an interview?

  • Hardworking
  • Dependable
  • Positive
  • Self-motivated
  • Team-oriented
  • Organized
  • Works well under pressure
  • Effective communicators
  • Flexible
  • Confident

What is your top tip for interview success?

Recruiters only have one question in their mind – Why should we hire you?

It’s up to the candidate to think of examples of how they can demonstrate the required skills. They must be ready to talk about their knowledge, experience, abilities and skills. They must have at least three strong selling points about themselves that they can relate to the company and the job on offer.

*** We thank Rick for taking time of his busy schedule to share his tips on how candidates can prepare for interviews to land their respective dream jobs.

For more tips on how to prepare for that big interview, please click here.

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