Job markets nowadays are more competitive than ever! The unemployed people put in a lot of effort to build the perfect resume in order to attract the recruiters’ eyes. Then they need to count the days with patience until they get that much-awaited call of the interview. But this is just another part of the long battle. Now they need to prep themselves up for this new mission and we are there to help as always.
17 Useful Tips to Prepare for a Job Interview
Although each job interview is different and depends on the corresponding job, there are few techniques all potential candidates must be aware of. Here are 17 such tips which will surely be useful for all job seekers no matter what industry they are aiming for:
1. Job analysis
The first and foremost step in beginning your preparation for the interview is to analyze the job in the discussion. For this, go back to the job posting you found and carefully go through the job description. Make mental notes of how you would carry out the responsibilities.
Many times recruiters end up with interviewees who have not even read the job description! When they ask these candidates about their capabilities of implementing the listed tasks, they seem to dive into the void and get lost. So one of the biggest mistakes you need to avoid is finding yourself in a position like that. Remember the listed duties and make yourself comfortable with performing them on a day-to-day basis.
2. Match qualifications
Make a list of all the necessary qualification the job demands. It might be something explicitly mentioned by the post or something inherent to that kind of jobs. Research a little bit on the web about the kind of qualities this position usually demands.
Combine them all into one list and then make another one about the merits or characteristics you possess. Then find out the common ones between these two lists to figure out which of them you should highlight in the interview.
These qualifications can include educational degrees, work experiences, computer skills, personality traits etc. Listing them down will help you remember and focus on these positive features during the interview.
3. Company research
Company environment and culture matter a lot at any organization. In this digital age, all standard companies have a website page dedicated to explaining their preferred vibe or attitude. Their employees should reflect that aura – more or less – in their personality. You can find that information on their web page titled ‘Career’ or ‘Team’.
Also pay a visit to their ‘About Us’ page to know more about its inception, growth and motto. They might also feature articles from around the web based on their company. Give them a read to know what you are getting into.
Lastly, note down their office address on both a paper and your smartphone notes app. For a safer approach, hunt it down on Google Maps or similar digital app based on geolocations. Here you can find all details and road directions from your house right up to their office. Take screenshots if possible so that you can easily find it on the big day.
Based on all these research, slowly start preparing your mindset for the upcoming interview. You should come across as someone who will fit right in and who will be truly an asset to the team.
4. Study interviewers
You may get an idea about which people are going to take your interview from various sources. It can be the names included in the received email from the company or the ones cited as Human Resources members on their website. If you have a friend or an acquaintance who is already working there, knock him too for more information.
After that, find them out on various social media to get an idea of their personalities. This will let you know exactly what you are going to face on the interview day and help you imagine the real scenario more accurately. You will also be aware of what might offend them and which topics will stir their interest.
5. Potential questions
No matter what job you have applied for, there will always be some common questions the recruiters will ask in the interview. A single query on any online search engine can hand you a laundry list of those questions. Some of the most classic ones include:
• Tell us about yourself
• What are your weaknesses
• Why do you want this job
• Why did you leave your last job
• Where do you see yourself in five years
Talking to people who have sat for this interview before may also help you find out more potential questions.
6. Prepare possible answers
So prepare your answers accordingly keeping all your previous research results in mind. In your answers, highlight your strengths, honesty, vision and maintain an appropriate tone all along depending on their office culture.
Even while talking about your weaknesses, mention what measures you have taken to alleviate them. While talking about your future aspirations, pampering them by saying “working for you obviously” might seem like a good idea. However, it is better if you just state the truth in a polite way like starting my own business, going abroad for higher studies etc. The interviewers will be proficient in catching a lie, so steer away from false propaganda.
Many people can give their reason for aiming at the job as having a genuine interest in the field. For the other majority who just need an income source, you can answer that question by diverting the focus to your strengths and capabilities. End it with a phrase like you are “looking to utilize your talents here”.
7. Inclusion of numerical data
This has always been a very simple but effective way to impress someone at a higher rank than yours. While answering the questions, try to include as many numerical data or statistics as possible. It can be a percentage of sales increase you helped the former employer attain or the number of visitors you attended as a receptionist. Spoken or written – any kind of information becomes much more reliable with mention of figures.
8. Inclusion of examples
Examples can help explain any situation better than mere descriptions. So before you sit for the interview, go in the back of your mind to take a trip down the philosophy and memory lanes. There you might find some interesting examples here and there to include in your interview answers! Even when you are sitting in the room, it will do wonders if you are still in that zone and bringing out more relatable instances. These examples are usually needed while describing your capabilities earned from previous jobs or training workshops.
9. Body language
Body language matters a lot in any formal first meeting. This can set a good tone for the whole interview or ruin it completely. For instance, keeping your arms crossed will make the audience feel like you have gone into the defensive mode. On the other hand, letting your hands move flexibly or leaning forward will let them know that you are extroverted and invested in this conversation.
Do some research to find out which posture or stance conveys what meaning during a conversation. Then make sure you make the right choices for both while communicating with the recruiters. Prepare them ahead of time so that you don’t have to put extra thoughts into it while the process is ongoing.
10. Mirror practice
Practice all those postures, vocal ranges and everything in between while standing in front of a mirror. Do the same with those answers you had outlined. Of course, don’t mumble the answers, speak them out loud like you would in the actual setting. All these will help you stay calm on the interview since you will be crystal clear in your head about what to say and how to say it.
Standing or sitting in front of a mirror will let you figure out if you are lacking charisma or doing something wrong. You can work better on your body language, appearance and expressions this way.
11. Mock interviews
Take help from a friend or family member to prep you up for the interview. It is important that the mock setting is as real as the actual interview setup. For example, if the whole interview is going to be conducted on a phone call, make the mock interviewer call you up. If it is going to be a panel interview, gather two to three friends as the pretending panel.
Hand them all the possible questions you prepared earlier and practice it as many times as possible. The more frequently you answer them, the clearer you will be about your approach towards the question. By the end of it all, you will be 100% ready and excited in fact to face the real interview.
The general and basic idea of men’s dressing up for the interview includes shirt of a soothing color paired with black trousers and shiny black shoes. They can turn it up a notch with an ironed blazer and a tie. Women can wear the same shirt-trouser pairing or opt for a more feminine look with pencil skirts and stilettos.
However, if you want to blend with the office environment, dress up according to what the other employees tend to wear. Call up a friend who works there for advice, or hang out at the coffee shops in that area to observe the workers.
13. Print resume
Print your resume into multiple copies, at least five. Even though resumes are sent digitally to the recruiters now, almost all of them ask for a hard copy during the interview. This helps them highlight any relevant information on your CV and make necessary remarks for the next assessment. Read this article if you are not sure how to write a good resume.
14. Reference list
Keep a reference list prepared since they might ask for that too during the interview. They should all be people who can vouch for your honesty, integrity, work ethic and similar qualities at any given time. You need to mention their full names, the organization name they work at, their job title there and contact details like a telephone number or email address. You might as well describe your relationship with them in a line for some extra clarification.
15. Interview kit
An interview kit might be something new for you but it is extremely useful during the job seeking periods. This is basically an organized container holding the essentials like resume file, notepad, breath mints, umbrella and other stuff. It will work as your “go to” box before interviews and should be small enough to fit into briefcases, backpacks or purses. This interview kit will save you from rainy days, bad breath and will supply your hard copies of resume whenever you need them.
It is very important that there are no moments of “dead air” during your interview. So think of what to say when you have hit a “brain-freeze” situation. Maybe they asked a question you were not expecting at all and need some time to think over it. Keep a phrase ready in your mind which you can utter slowly to buy you some thinking time while keeping your confident impression intact. It might start like “That is a great question, sir. I think I would have to respond by saying…”.
17. Good sleep
Last but definitely not the least, you must get a good night’s sleep before the interview day. It will calm your nerves and help you think clearly the next day. Sleep deprivation over either excitement or anxiety is not good for your health. It can cause unnecessary frustration and irritation in behavior, resulting in a poor performance on the interview session.
According to the philosophical theory called the law of attraction, having a positive mindset will attract more positive outcomes! So relax a little and follow these simple rules to knock that interview out of the park!