A job interview is one of the critical and most stressful parts of the job application process. It allows you to show your employer why you are the best match for the job and why you’re the best choice over the other applicants who may have better credentials than yours. If you’re preparing for a job interview, here are a couple of tips that will help you get yourself together and make a positive impression.
Know the Company
An important part of the preparation phase is to know about the company and the job position offered to you. You can even talk to some people that work there to get a feel of the office environment and to show your initiative. When employers know that you already did your research about the company’s future goals and plans, this will make you look like a valuable long-term investment. Take note that employers might ask you what you think about their current company performance and policies, so you should prepare for questions like these as well.
Ask Your Interviewer
Near the end of the interview, your interviewer would give you a chance to ask them anything. A lot of people ask them about their job salary or jokingly ask when they could start. This is actually a crucial part and it shows how professional you are and if you know your stuff. Instead, you should actually prepare at least three thought-provoking questions to ask your interviewer. It’s a good idea to avoid asking anything that could be answered through a quick internet search – it will give the impression that you’re lazy and you can’t come up with original ideas of your own. Some sample questions could be about your chances of professional growth in the company, or the direction of the company in terms of market in the next few years. Questions like these will let your interviewer know that you are very interested in working with them for a long time and you also know what you are talking about.
Practice with a Friend
If your friend is also preparing for an interview or if they’re okay with you practicing on them, then you should take up the offer. Doing this will help you think about a structure for your interview and help you get comfortable with giving answers, telling anecdotes and using appropriate terms. Practice giving concise, complete answers while maintaining eye contact with your interviewer all throughout the interview. Lastly, make sure that you aren’t speaking too slow or too fast and that your answers are stated with confidence. Remember to note your friend’s feedback. It might not be the same as your interviewer, but how we come across different people could be very different from what we expect.
Preparing for an interview also means that you should prepare for questions your interviewer could ask you. It could be anything from personal questions to how much you know about the company. It’s best to prepare for a wide variety of questions by thinking about your own goals, long-term plans, and past successes. You should also prepare for questions asked by interviewers that might seem simple but have hidden meaning in them. For example, they might ask you ‘what is your biggest weakness?’ and this could be very off-setting. You don’t want to be too honest and make them look the other way, but you also don’t want to sound boastful by spinning an obviously good quality into a weakness.
Dress for the Interview
A general rule regarding dressing for the interview is that you should dress the way you would for the job itself. This means that you should wear business-casual and business attire if the job position you are vying for calls for it. Don’t wear too loud, bright or catchy clothes. It will give the impression that you don’t know a thing about fashion and you might even turn them off. One thing that people always overlook is their cologne or after-shave. Try to keep these to a minimum and avoid suffocating them. You are there for your credentials, not to freshen up the room’s smell.
Show up Prepared
This means getting a good night’s sleep the night before and leaving home early. It is also advisable to know where you are going, so that you won’t get lost and come up all flustered. If your stomach is easily upset with this kind of situation, wake up a few minutes earlier to give it time to calm itself down. You should also bring an extra copy of your resume and references just in case your interviewer forgets to bring their own copy.
Some people act all high and mighty, are too confident and forget their basic manners. Being courteous to everyone from the reception staff to the interviewer can help you earn points. You never know who has input in the hiring process and you can make a first impression only once. Don’t’ forget simple things like saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Remember that talking audibly can tell people that you’re confident, while good manners tell them that you’re considerate of other people.
Honesty is Important
Many people think that a job interview is the perfect time to set yourself up. Take note that employers will do a background check if they think you are qualified and they will know when you are lying about your credentials or experience. In addition, saying that you can handle a busy schedule or heavy workload for an entry-level job will mean trouble for you if you do get hired. Not only will you be swamped with work, but your salary will still be entry-level. After all, you claimed during the interview that you are very comfortable and okay with it.
If you’re stuck with a difficult question that you wouldn’t like to answer, you should keep in mind what politicians do. When they’re being interviewed and they are asked a personal or difficult issue, they redirect their answer to answer a different issue. You can also do the same during an interview, just don’t do it all the time or you’ll definitely give the impression that you’re arrogant or you’re not paying attention.
Simplicity is Key
When you’re talking about yourself or your credentials, it’s difficult to stop yourself from going overboard, especially since you’re trying to convince someone you don’t know that you’re suited for the position. It is very good to keep your answers well within 30-90 seconds. This means that you need to structure your answer and talk immediately about the important points.
A job interview is indeed stressful, it would be more troubling if you weren’t worried or pressured before it. However, with the job interview tips we mentioned, it is very crucial that you come prepared in terms of having a proper mindset and a healthy physical status during your big day.