Going to an interview can be quite stressful. But this nerve-racking experience is inevitable if you are seeking jobs. At its core, job interviews are intended to help you learn more about the job and give the employer a chance to see if your skills and experiences make you a good fit for the job. So that’s why your goal is to learn everything about the job including your duties, employer’s expectations, opportunities, work culture, and team. And at the same time, you are aiming to show the hiring manager that you’re the perfect fit for the job.
The first step in preparing for your interview is getting to know as much as you can about the company and the job. Start by researching the history and main purpose of the company. Afterward, find out what type of work and duties you will be handling. So, learn as much as possible about the position ahead of time. You can use this information during the interview to demonstrate your knowledge of the company. By doing this your potential employer(s) can tell you know what they are getting into.
Most interviewers tend to ask you a few commonly used interview questions. These questions tend to be about topics such as
- Your qualifications (Strengths and Weaknesses)
- Previous work experiences
- Expected salary
- Future outlook
- Management Skills
- Teamwork Skills
By practicing your answers to common questions under each of these topics you will relieve a lot of post-interview stress. In addition, you will be better prepared when similar questions come up. When practicing you should come up with answers that are appropriate, thoughtful and not cliché. For instance, a good interview answer will incorporate some detail about the job in it. Thus, try to sneak in specific and related detail about the company’s purpose/goal or the job’s qualification in some of your answers.
As you know, a professional and clean outfit leaves a good impression on people. Hence why you need to dress well for your upcoming interview. Suits tend to be a universal standard for interviews but that may not be the case anymore. Hence why it’s now recommended to research the dress code of the company ahead of time and try to mimic it or even step it up by one level.
One common mistake when approaching interviews is forgetting necessary documents. The main document you always need for an interview is your resume. It’s important to make sure you are bringing the most recent version of your resume. In addition, certain jobs may require extra documents such as cover letter(s), reference list, driver’s license, recommendation letter(s), work portfolio, passport and/or social security number. Thus, you need to check if you need any of these documents for your interview ahead of time.
This is not a well-known fact but arriving at an interview too early is not good. As an interviewee, you are aiming to be at the interview up to 15 minutes early. However, if you arrive more than 20 minutes early, the interviewer will not be ready to see you. And you may end up sending the wrong message. Plus, if you are too early, the staff may feel like they need to entertain you or continue offering you beverages. And before leaving for the interview, ensure you have the interviewer’s phone number in case you are going to be late. If it turns out you are going to be late, call the interviewer well ahead of time and let them know.
Recognize that not everything is going to go smoothly. For instance, the interviewer may ask you inappropriate questions about your culture and background. Or you may get interviewed by more than one person even though you were expecting a one on one interview. During such times, you need to be flexible, calm and collected. So, try to stay positive and take a slow deep breathe if you feel like the stress is getting to you.
You may come up with important questions when researching about your potential future job and company. And once you get to the interview, there is a high chance you will forget to ask at least one of those questions. Hence why you need to write down your questions and bring them with you. Interviewers will also view you as organized and on top of your tasks if they see your questions written down.
Sometimes interviewees nail the interview questions and provide an amazing resume but somehow, they still don’t get the job. This is often due to their lacking body language. Body language plays a big role in employers’ first impression of you. The body language dance begins when you first shake hands with the interviewer. So, give your interviewer a firm handshake since it speaks volumes about your confidence and charisma. When you take your seat at the interview you need to watch out for how you sit. Sit tall and straight and make eye contact with the interviewer as they talk. But don’t scare them away by staring at them for too long. Eventual smiles, as well as usage of subtle hand gestures, are also very good examples of appropriate body language that demonstrate confidence.
There are many different types of interviews. Some common examples include unstructured or structured interviews with one or more interviewers present, phone interviews, stress interviews and panel interviews. Due to the large variety of interview types, you are required to know what type of interview you are going to deal with. The employer or hiring manager will often let you know the type of interview ahead of time so you can prepare ahead of time. But if they don’t provide enough information, make sure to contact them and ask.
A major part of the interview is demonstrating your communication skills. Any use of inappropriate language can cause your employer to form a bad image of you. That’s why you need to ensure your message is conveyed professionally. In order to do so, you need to use decisive, polite and well thought out sentences. For instance, you want to avoid vague responses such as “I’m not sure”. Any use of slang and casual talk is also highly improper. There are many variables at play when it comes down to interviews. Therefore, it’s crucial to recognize the importance of the aspects of interviews that matter the most since having the right qualifications and experiences doesn’t always guarantee you the job. If you follow our guide you will be able to ace any interview if you already meet the qualifications for the position.