Scheduled for your job interview? Are you prepared? The best way to get ready for an interview is to take the time to prepare properly by practicing and reviewing common questions.
Before the interview
In the days before your job interview, set aside some time to consider the following:
- Research the company. What makes you the best candidate for the position? How much do you know about the company? Interview candidates are expected to have detailed knowledge of the firm and its respective industry. An interviewer may ask who the firm’s competitors are, about the firm’s competitive advantages, and even how it should best move forward. For this reason, a good knowledge and focus on key companies around your prospective job firm is crucial.
- Practice answers to common questions. Wouldn’t it be nice if you knew exactly what questions a hiring manager would be asking you in your next job interview? Questions like: who you are, why you’re a fit for the job, and what you’re good at are frequently asked because they touch on the essentials hiring managers want to know about every candidate. You may not be asked exactly these questions in exactly these words, but if you have answers in mind for them, you’ll be prepared for just about anything the interviewer throws your way.
- Think of how you can sell yourself. There are always more candidates for positions than there are openings. So interviewers look for ways to screen people out. To have an advantage over the rest, think of at least three key selling points that will show why you are the perfect candidate for the job position. Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes and ask yourself why they might not want to hire you, and then prepare your defence around your selling points.
- Be prepared to ask intelligent questions. When preparing yourself for an interview, it’s also equally important that you prepare some intelligent questions for the interviewer. The questions will demonstrate your knowledge of the company, as well as your interest in the job.
- Try to practice with someone. It’s one thing to come prepared with mental answers to every question, it’s another challenge entirely to say it out loud in a confident and convincing way. Try it out as many times as possible when alone or ask a few friends to help you out. To sound smooth and more articulate you need to practice, practice, and practice! Some people are concerned that if they rehearse their answers, they’ll sound overly polished during the interview. Don’t worry. You can try out our new video interview practice session to boost your confidence and polish your answers.
- Don’t forget your CV. One of the things you should carry with you when going for any interview is a copy of the sent resume. In the case that the interviewer misplaced his or her copy, you’ll save a lot of time and embarrassment on the interviewer’s part.
- Prepare for assessment testing. Not quite as common in the past, psychometric testing is now one of the most used interview styles today. What is psychometric testing? Head over to CandidateTalent.com to find out more.
During the interview
After preparing for the interview, remember the following:
- Be polite, not shy. Perhaps out of an effort to be polite, some usually assertive candidates become overly passive during job interviews. But politeness doesn’t equal passivity. An interview is like any other conversation. It’s therefore your responsibility to make sure the interviewer is left knowing your key selling points.
- Ask for the job. Think of a salesperson, if he or she walks to you, shows you their products, thanks you for your time and then leaves, what did he or she do wrong? They didn’t ask you to buy from him! The same applies at the end of any job interview; if you really like the job ask for it! Make sure to let the interview know that you were excited about the job position even before the interview and are even more excited now, and that you’re convinced you’d like to work there. This will leave a lasting impression to the interviewer.
- Be brief. “Tell me about yourself…” You can go into a story about where you were born, what schools you attended, your allergies, and that’s okay. But would you rather have the interviewer writing down about all of that – or why the company should hire you?
- Don’t put on cologne or perfume. You may talk and respond to questions confidently but don’t forget; the body has a language of its own. From how you dress to how articulate you are in your responses, every detail is important. However, one thing to observe, don’t wear perfume or cologne! Some interview locations are small rooms and may lack good air circulation. You want the interviewer paying attention to your job qualifications – not struggling to breathe!
After the interview
When the interview is over, increase your success rate by doing the following:
- Send a ‘thank-you note’. Just as important as not being late to an interview is showing appreciation. Write a thank-you note within 48 hours after every interview and mail or email it to the company. Letting your interviewer know that the opportunity was appreciated can go a long way toward helping you secure the job.
Need to prepare for your job interview? Here’s all the preparation you’ll ever need.