10 essential qualities for a great interview

Un homme en complet passe une entrevue

You just applied for your dream job. Step one... check! Hopefully, your application will be selected and you can start preparing for the job interview. This means making a good first impression! Keep reading for our Talent Acquisition Team’s list of the 10 qualities that’ll help you stand out from other applicants.

1. Punctuality

Being late for a lunch date is one thing. Being late for an interview is another! Plan ahead to make sure you show up on time on the big day.

Punctuality will show the employer that your reliable and taking the hiring process seriously.

2. Preparation

A job interview requires some due diligence.

Being prepared will boost your confidence and help you manage your nerves.

Do your homework. Learn about the company, its purpose, realizations and goals. Connect its values and ambitions to your own. This will demonstrate your professionalism, interest, knowledge of the company and, above all, your motivation.

Make a list of potential interview questions, even personal ones, and carefully craft your answers. Make sure they represent who you are. For extra coaching, get someone to play the role of the recruiter and get their feedback on your delivery.

If a question catches you off guard, give yourself a minute to mull it over—never give an answer you’re not sure of. When you don't know what to say, the best thing to do is admit it. Be yourself and be honest about your skills and personality because that’s what recruiters are interested in.

3. Courtesy

It may seem obvious, but some things simply don’t belong at a job interview.


Turn it off and put it away. Tell your friends and family not to call you, just in case you forget to turn it off.


Throw it out before the interview.

Don’t get too friendly too quickly

Remember who you’re talking to. Use appropriate language. Be yourself, honest and relaxed.

On a first-name basis

This will depend on the interviewer.

Formality is always a sign of respect.

However, in the event that the interviewer suggests otherwise, go with it, without fear of seeming rude.

You could even suggest it yourself (if you think it’s called for).

4. Honesty

Obviously, your objective is to put your best self forward.

So, you mustn’t lie or exaggerate your skills or experience.

Throughout the interview, you need to be honest about your resumé. Sooner or later, your lies and inconsistencies will come back to haunt you.

Honesty is always the best policy.

There's no shame in not knowing something or not having all the skills. The important thing is to demonstrate your willingness to learn and develop your abilities.

5. Listening

Listen carefully to the questions being asked and formulate clear, concise answers. You want to avoid beating around the bush.

If you’re afraid of silence, then tell the interviewer. Tell them that you didn't expect that question and need a minute to think it over. You can also ask the interviewer to repeat or rephrase a question to make sure you understand what they're getting at.

6. Attention to detail

Be aware of your nonverbal communication. Dress appropriately. Wear comfortable clothes. In winter, never wear boots to an in-person interview. Always bring a pair of shoes.

If your interview is via videoconference, then do it from your home office. If you don't have a home office, then set up in a quiet, distraction-free location with appropriate lighting. Avoid sitting on a couch. It’s better to sit in a chair because it will keep you from slouching.

7. Confidence

There's nothing wrong with self-confidence but you don’t want to come off as arrogant. Don't praise yourself needlessly or vaunt your many qualities.

Sit in an open, upright posture. Crossing your arms or laying back could be misinterpreted. Smile and be pleasant.

Are you shy? Are you stressed or nervous? Take deep breaths. It's normal to be nervous. Rest assured that interviewers always do their best to make applicants feel comfortable.

8. Soft skills

If you're applying for a new job, it's probably because you're not 100% satisfied with your current one. Don’t be dismissive, condescending or bitter towards your potentially former employer and colleagues.

Weigh your words and be respectful. In doing so, you demonstrate maturity. This shows the interviewer that you can be objective about a less-than-ideal situation.

Be sure to showcase your people skills, which is a quality prized by all recruiters.

9. Authenticity

Playing a role at an interview is never a good idea. Interviewers will unmask you sooner than you think. All you’ll really be doing is hurting your credibility. So be yourself and show yourself as you are— your true personality.

Be genuine and go with the flow.

10. The art of conversation

An interview is not an interrogation. It's an exchange of ideas—a discussion. You should also take the opportunity to ask pertinent questions that are important to you.

You’ll want to know what’s really expected of you. For example: What's a typical day on the job like? Who’s on the team? What are their profiles?

Before you leave, don't forget to ask the recruiter about the next steps in the selection process.

The ball’s in your court!

You have everything you need for a successful job interview. Are you interested in working at Beneva? Take a look at our job openings and... good luck!