How to Prepare for a Job Interview?
If any time soon you are having a job interview, then this post is for you – as it will show you how to impress your hiring manager and come out as a preferred candidate for the vacancy.
Job interviews are a tough nut to crack and it is not easy to make a terrific impression on the recruiter with just your qualifications and extra-curricular activities. There are many other things that you might not be aware of and we are going to highlight them in this article.
In this time and day, people start preparing for the big interview weeks before the actual day. Mental preparation for the job interview is essential as for every other competition.
According to experts, the candidates should visualize how the interview would go before attending it. This ensures that they are confident when answering the actual interview’s questions– putting them in the lead for winning the job post.
No worries if you feel a small edginess before the interview – it can be helpful because it makes you feel more energized and alerted. However, too much anxiety can be dangerous if you do not manage to put your nerves under control during the interview.
For getting out of the tense mood, you can use some popular methods like listening to soothing sounds and practice deep breathing. You can also follow the following top 20 tips for successful job interview.
20 BEST TIPS FOR SUCCESS IN YOUR NEXT JOB INTERVIEW
It takes a lot of time and research to learn about the company, their background, values, and future plans, as well as to assume the interview questions the interviewers might ask, and their requirements for the new team member.
But in order to leave a good impression on your first encounter with the hiring manager, you are required to know certain things ahead of the interview, such as the dress code, basic information about the company and their competitors, knowledge about the product or services they are offering, etc.
Hence, to aid you in getting fully prepared, we have made a list of the 20 best pre-interview tips that should assist you with bringing your best game to the job interview appointment. This list includes almost everything from the dress code to how to deal with particular questions they might ask you.
1. Learn about the company
Before going for the interview, learn everything that you can find out about the company like the number of branches it has, the kind of work it does, the geographical area it covers, etc.
You can use many sources for this, such as the Internet, the company’s website, latest news releases and talking to your family and friends who might have heard about the employer.
It happens frequently that candidates look only at the data that the company is publishing through its social media and website, but forget about inquiring people directly and personally.
They might have information that is not published anywhere yet and this might make you stand out in the interview – it will show the potential employer that you went the extra mile to get familiar with the company.
2. Read the company’s and its employees’ blogs (if there are any)
To get a sense of what the company does and what the employees do, read the blogs of the company and the people working for it.
Also, to figure out what the company wants from you or from its employees, read the Facebook page and the ‘tweets’ of the company’s Twitter account. The tone of the content of those blogs speaks a lot about the company’s organizational culture.
3. Chat with the company’s current employees
But not with the higher authorities (as this might be seen as pressure them into awarding the job to you). It is better if you chat with the employees of the company that you can reach easier.
For example, if the employer has its stores, you can walk in one of them and ask the salespersons there how they like working for the company. If the employer has a Customer Call Centre – you can also call there and speak to one of the phone operators.
4. Find out how the company’s ex-employees rated their ex-employer
There are few online platforms that can let you know about the company in a broader sense. The site has the reviews from the former as well as some of the current employees of the company.
They talk about their experience working for your potential future employer, their work culture, etc. However, always take those reviews as a guide and not as a fact.
5. Know the role your work will play in the company
If you are selected you will be working in a certain area of the company– for example, in sales, marketing, IT, engineering or something else. Use the product or service that you will be working with before your first interview so that you can know how to increase the value of that product.
For example, if you are applying for a sales job, you should know about the product that the company is selling and then try to find ways to increase the sales of that product.
6. Familiarize yourself with your interviewers’ profiles
If you have the name/s of the person/s who will have the interview with you then look up their name/s on the company’s website, on LinkedIn or elsewhere on the Internet.
Learn about those people, for example – their educational or career background and their hobbies. Look for things that you might have in common with them, so you can relate to them during the interview.
Then you can bring up a common interest that they have outside the office, discuss any current event related to their expertise, and ask them for details about their area of professional focus.
7. Practice some case and brainteaser questions
Some companies give you brainteaser questions or case questions to find out how you will face different situations while there are some companies that will give you a standard set of typical interview questions.
It is completely alright to contact the HR or the recruiter to ask about the interview format before the interview day. After finding out the interview format, you can start investing your time in prepping for those questions.
8. Refresh your skills and accomplishments
Note down all your skills and accomplishments and collect all the related certificates so that you can show them at the time of interview.
Spend some of your time thinking about the most common interview questions like “How will you contribute towards the progress of the company?”.
In addition to this, take some time out to think about your management and creative abilities. Design a formula on how to answer the question “Tell us about yourself” because this is a question that they will almost certainly ask you. You must be sure to bring your A game in the interview with its answer.
9. Know your strengths as well as weaknesses
You must know all your weaknesses by now, but you should not tell all about each one of them to the hiring managers. However, do not be thrown off by the old question “What is your biggest weakness?”.
The best way to answer this question is thinking of something that you have an issue with but are currently working on improving it.
For example, if you are struggling with public speaking but are taking Toastmasters classes for the past few months or if you have volunteered to help others to overcome their fear of public speaking, then you can discuss it as your weakness.
10. Study the most common interview questions
There are common interview questions that can easily be found on the Internet. Jot down a few bullet points or a few notes on these questions to be prepared for the interview.
11. Have some numbers and percentages ready to share
Now, there is one thing that can easily impress the hiring managers or your recruiters and that is numbers. Find some percentages, quotas, numbers or increases that you can use while talking about your accomplishments and responsibilities because it will let the hiring manager know that you do not take anything lightly.
Another question that the recruiter might ask is “What would you bring to the position?” and you have to answer this question in a smart way. Look in the mirror and ask yourself this question. Answer this question in the best possible way while giving away some of your accomplishments.
In addition to this, make some bullet points on your vision for the company, how your work can improve the condition of the business, etc. This will help in clarifying your thoughts and make you much more comfortable during the actual interview.
12. Practice a job interview with a friend
Another thing that can really help you before the interview is doing a mock interview with a friend. If you answer the question “Tell me about yourself” for the 10th time, it will be much better than the first time.
Hence, ask your friend to do a mock interview with you and allow them to ask you questions that they think your hiring manager can ask you. This will help with boosting your confidence for the real interview.
13. Prepare the interview outfit the day before your interview
Decide on the perfect interview outfit before going for the interview. Companies that have a professional or business casual dress code would want you to look conservative and basic for the first interview.
In case you are not sure what you should wear, you can ask your friends or contacts who work at that company to find out what they wore during their interview.
Another alternative – if you do not have any such contacts – is hanging out at a café across the street a week few days before your interview and taking a glimpse of what employees at the company wear.
In addition to this, make sure that your interview dress is freshly washed, pressed and tailored.
Often, you have your interview outfit sitting in your closet for a couple of months or even years and you just dust it off for a job interview – but please do not do the same if you want to impress the hiring manager.
14. Remember the small things
Check for loose hems on your interview clothing, shine your shoes, manicure your fingernails and comb your hair properly. You may think that people would not notice these little things but they actually do and will make their judgments of you partly based on that.
Also, if you think you need a little pampering like a new interview outfit, razor shave, a haircut, or a facial treatment, then do it. Feeling good about how you look can make you feel more confident than before.
15. Make your reference list
Make a reference list whether you think that you will be asked for it or not. Also, print out at least five copies of your resume because you never know whom you will be meeting and you have to make sure your resume is ready and with you at all times.
16. Compile an interview kit
Always have your interview kit ready and with you at all times. The interview kit – besides the few extra resumes mentioned above – should also have items like a notepad, a breath mint, a stain stick, Band-Aids, pens, pencils, a notepad, etc.
17. Organize your bag
This point is for candidates who carry purses or briefcases totheir job interviews, regardless of their gender. Clean your bag before the interview.
Search for any candy wrappers, old receipts and other unnecessary items that should not even be there. Other things that are important but may look messy like phone chargers should be kept in an organized manner.
18. Study the current news affairs
Before going for the interview, study the current topics popular in the mainstream media. There is a big chance that your hiring manager may ask you questions related to it and it will reflect on your knowledge about current events.
19. Become aware of your body language
Do not be someone else on the interview seat, be yourself. Changing your body language can communicate bad stance and posture to the interviewer which is not good for you.
20. Sleep sufficient
Do not lay awake all night before your interview day. A good sleep is very important and in case you are unable to sleep, drink a warm glass of milk, listen to soothing music and try your best to get a good night sleep.
THE 5-STEP INTERVIEW PREP GUIDE
We have made a 5-step interview preparation guide in order to help you with bagging the job you like. This interview prep guide has all information from what to bring to a job interview to how to research about the company to how to dress appropriately.
The guide will cover all the important points of the interview and help you in securing the job. This prep guide will assist you in answering questions and stand out among the other less-prepared candidates.
- How to find out the type of interview you are going for – There are several kinds of interviews popular these days, namely group, behavioral and one on one interview. In the one on one interview, a single hiring manager sits in the interviewer chair and asks you questions whereas, in the group interview, there can be two or more than two hiring managers. You should not assume that you would get a certain type of interview. What you can do is ask the company what type of interview they will be conducting. The best is to ask them when they call to schedule or confirm the interview. Otherwise, you should call the HR department and politely ask them this.
- How to greet your hiring manager – You should always greet your hiring manager with a firm handshake and a friendly smile. If you do these two things in the right manner, you will set off the right attitude and energy towards the interviewer. This is a very simple and small step for gaining the attention of the recruiter.
- How to present your resume – It is very important that you know what is written on your resume before you show it to your interviewer. They will ask about your skills, education, accomplishments and other quantified results that you have listed on your resume and it is only expected that you know about all of them. Do not add any fake information on the resume because that may cost you the chance to have an interview for the same company ever again in the future.
- How to behave – Be on your best behavior during the interview. Do not try to be too smart or play overconfident because the hiring manager wants you to be yourself and not someone you are pretending to be. Also, be honest during the interview and do not talk about accomplishments you do have not achieved.
- How to question the interviewer – If there is any query that you have about the company and if you cannot find the answer to it from other secondary sources then ask it during the interview. This shows how serious you are about the job. Also, it looks good if you go with your own intelligent questions for the interview. It shows that you have put some effort while preparing for the big interview. However, note that the questions you ask should hold some relevance and should be genuine. Asking irrelevant questions can have the negative effect on the recruiter.
THINGS TO NOTE JUST BEFORE GOING FOR THE INTERVIEW
You must find out few things before going to your job interviews, such as the directions to the place of interview, the type of interview you are going to have, and the exacttime for the interview, among other things.
Few days before going for the interview take some time out to clear few things such how is the traffic in the area around the time of your interview, what is the fastest and safest way to get there, etc. Make a list of these questions and when you have the answer, tick them.
It is okay to reach the interview place 10 minutes before the actual interview time but no sooner than that. Hence, if you do get there more than 10 minutes before, it would be better if you sit outside in your car or in a nearby café for a little while. In case you get lost or if you are going to be late, bring the phone number of the recruiter and inform them – make sure you have enough battery on your mobile phone when you leave your house.
Further, you can try out pre-employment assessments before attending the job interview. You can take the free pre-employment assessments on the Internet for free. These small practice tests can assist you in being more comfortable during the interview when it is finally your turn to be in the hot seat.
The hiring managers can easily tell whether a candidate has prepared for the job interview or not, hence follow these simple tips. Your hiring manager will appreciate your efforts and might even offer you the job because of that!
TO SUM UP
Lastly, you must always be positive and think good things while going for the job interview. Both career experts and the psychological experts agree that being positive helps in boosting your energy and self-confidence.
Always think about and practice what you really want to happen as it calms you down and makes you feel on top of the world – optimistic, confident and sure of yourself. Go and smash that interview!