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HOW TO PREPARE FOR AN INTERVIEW
Preparing for an interview takes a lot more than googling a list of common interview questions, for which you should be ready 100%. You have to make a first impression by not running late nor show up in wrinkly suits, know about the company, its products and its mission and of course convey exactly why you would be a great hire for the job.
A lot of the interview’s preparations will depend on the specifics surrounding the job, the company and even who is interviewing you and how.
It is important that you explain in the application form, why you need the job, that you understand the job description role and more importantly why the employer should choose you over the other candidates.
Firstly research about the company and learn everything about it from all the sources you can. Spend time on google. Read current news and releases. Talk to people in your network to find previous and current employees. Look in depth to what people are saying about the company. By multiple sources you will get a broader picture of the company. Be ready to talk about why you would like to work there and what you can do for them.
Learn everything about the job posting. You need to know what they are looking for, to be a great hire. So, refer to the description you looked before you applied because most of the organizations have laid out exactly what they want in an applicant in the job posting.
What are the skills and experiences are they emphasizing? What are the problems you will solve? Throughout your interview you will need to emphasize these things.
If the company you are interviewing for sells a product which you can easily check out, just go for it. Try it before your interview a few times. If you are hired, your goal is to create value for the people who use that product, and being a user yourself is the first step. This will show the hiring manager that you are truly interested in the role.
Learn about your interviewers. Ask who the interviewers are. Learn what their role at the company is and prepare some questions that are specific to them. Ask for details about their role, discuss current events related to their field and find out a common interest outside the office.
Prepare your self-according to the kind of interview you are in for. Different types of interviews are done by different companies. Some will meet you one by one with several different people of the company, others might meet with multiple people at once. Sometimes you may also have a phone or video interview ahead of time. Invest time to become familiar as it would make a huge difference.
Always brush up on your interview skills and the common questions asked, so you can prepare yourself with your answers and practice them. Spend time thinking carefully about what skills, accomplishments and interview answers will resonate with your interviewers most for this job. Go back to your research and see what makes you most qualified. Your creativity? Your management abilities???
A common question at an interview would be, “Tell me about yourself,” or “Walk me through your resume.” Just make sure you start on the right foot. Another important question asked by the interviewer will be “Why you are interested in this position in this company?” mind you if you cannot answer the question, you should not be in the interview. To answer this question identify a couple of key factors about the job and the organization that go well with your interests, strengths and workstyle. You can also use these to inform your answers to other question.
Your salary expectation is a question always asked. Do a little bit of salary research to figure out how you would answer.
Past work experience will be expected to be asked about. Prepare a few stories that you can adapt as needed. Mainly how you work and react in certain scenarios. Your story should be well structured and the take away should be clear. Explain the situation of the scenario. Then talk about what your role was in the situation. Next discuss what you did and why. Lastly let the interviewer know about the outcome of the situation and what you learned from it.
To communicate your impact throw some numbers!!! When you are talking about your accomplishments, responsibilities and answering questions, it tells the hiring manager why you are so awesome. This is the way to quantify your accomplishments.
Interview skills are very important. Such as small talk, empathy and active listening which helps you to impress the interviewer and also give them a sense of what it might be like to work with you as a colleague.
Practice your answers by looking in the mirror loudly. Do not write down the entire answer. Jot down a few points or bullet points. Do not memorize your answers. This prep work will help you clarify your thoughts and make you much more comfortable during the interview.
Body language is important. Remember certain body language conveys a lot. Be aware what you are communicating through your posture and stance. Do not get distracted during the interview. If you are doing a zoom interview put up your camera properly so you are not looking away from the interviewer to show that you are listening without cutting off their microphone. You are responsible for your environment so make sure you are in a quiet place with no distractions. Lay down all that you need like a pen, notepad and water to drink. These are important when you doing a remote interview. Pay attention what is going on behind you, it should be non-distracting. Your background should be free of clutter and well lit.
Always do mock interviews with your friend. All your answers will be ready ahead of time. The video will also help you to notice your sitting position.
Prepare yourself for questions you do not know how to answer. This will help you to handle the unexpected. Two things that work well are repeating the question thoughtfully before answering or saying slowly.
Always start preparing and practicing as early as possible for a technical interview and for the skill test during the interview.
Do you have any questions for me? Most of the interview will wrap up with such a question and you should absolutely have some questions to ask specific to the job and the company. Do not ask questions that have already been answered during your conversation.
Presenting yourself with all the interview logistics is important. Once you are ready for the content of the interview its now time to walk in confidently.
Not sure what to wear? For your physical appearance ask a contact at the company how to dress professionally as the other employees of the company do. For a casual environment business casual is appropriate for an interview. For video interviewers, remember it does include pants!!!
Feeling good about yourself will boost your confidence and that is the key to landing for the job. You have to look professional and appropriate. Your outfit should have the correct fit, clean and ironed. Shoes should shine. Fingernails should look neat. Haircut and shave for men is a must. A little pampering will always help you to look and feel your best!!
Carry enough copies of your resume for everyone you are meeting for the interview. For the video interview print out a hard copy to easily refer back. Also prepare your reference list incase you will be asked by the interviewer. For which include the name, title organization, department, telephone number and e-mail address of the person, briefly explaining the relationship. A hard copy of the resume is a good idea for an in person interview. Sending off the file when you are asked, for any later interview, shows how you have prepared ahead of time. For the telephonic or on computer interview make sure your software, hardware and network connections are smoothly working.
Your bag for the interview should be large enough to hold your extra resumes, notepad, pens an emergency kit stocked with what you might need in an unexpected situation. Always keep a checklist what to take to an interview so you are super prepared. Do clean out the bag as not to look disorganized.
Always be on time for the interview whether you are taking public transport or driving. Figure out where you are going and how you are going there. Always add extra time in case of traffic or transit delays.
Your interview research – as a employee you need to show that you understand the business beyond basics. Your genuine interest will show when you find out about the company. What sector does the company operate in? What challenges does it face? Who are its competitors? What major projects has it completed? What are the companies cultures and values?
Job interviews rarely gets easier. They are nerve breaking no matter if you have even done fifteen!!
Strong interviewing skills do not happen overnight. The best way to prepare for an interview is by making your first impression count and giving yourself plenty of preparation time before hand. Interview preparation helps you to become comfortable and knowledgeable during the hiring process. It helps you in answering common interview questions without fumbling or trying to wing them. It takes time and dedication to know how to prepare for an interview and that is why we are here!!!