Preparation is fundamental for a successful job interview. Your resume has sparked curiosity in the mind of a potential employer. Therefore, spend some time and ensure that you are ready and composed to impress your prospective employer.
Hereunder are 21 top tips and tricks for a successful job interviews:
Research the company
Prior to the interview, research in detail the company, its mission and plans for the future. In addition, familiarise yourself with the key personnel.
Useful places to research a company is through annual reports, social media platforms, company website and newspapers.
Research the interview panel
If the interview request provides details of the name of the persons with whom the interview will be conducted, then research them in detail.
Use LinkedIn to get a feel of their professional history and background. Also, preempt questions that you believe could align with their career history and the role.
Research the employees
Use LinkedIn to review the employees in the company and their job descriptions. Be sure to look out for individuals who have roles similar to the one that you are interviewing for.
An individual’s LinkedIn profile could be more detailed than a job advertisement. This could give you further insight on the role. Glassdoor.com is a useful website that can provide you with employee feedback about the company.
However, in the event that the feedback is negative, remember that everyone’s experiences are different. One person’s experience in a job can be totally different to your experience.
Spend some time and really reflect on why you want the role. Reflect on whether this is the direction that you want for your career.
Usually potential employers will ask you why you want to work for the company. Your response to this question is critical to their hiring decision.
On the contrary, there is nothing worse than taking a role that you may not like. If you do not like the job, chances are you will be demotivated. Every job has its obstacles. A strong why can be the glue that keeps you focus and committed amidst tough challenges.
Additionally, think about the stories that you can share that can support your achievements in previous roles.
Achievements in areas such as initiative, commitment, achieving targets, and situations where you have worked under pressure should be rehearsed.
It is fundamental that your preparation include rehearsing stories based on previous experiences and accomplishment. Ensure and have these at the tip of your tongue.
Review the job profile
Go back and review the job profile in the advertisement to refresh yourself on the requirements of the role.
There may have been a time period between your application and when you are contacted for the interview. Therefore take some time and go over the job requirements.
Prepare potential questions and answers
Review common and potential interview questions and answers. Also preempt likely questions that the interviewer may ask when you review the job profile and your career history.
Make a list of personality traits that you have which are great match to the role in question. Be sure to use these when answering questions.
Common interview questions include:
- Tell me about yourself?
- Why do you want to work for this company?
- What are you career aspirations?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Why should we hire you over all other candidates?
Be prepared to defend any weaknesses in your resume. Is there a skill or experience that they are asking for that you do not have? Is there a break in your career which you may be asked to explain. Have strong and suitable responses prepared and rehearsed.
Prepare questions to ask the interviewing panel
At the end of every interview, the job interviewer will ask if there are any questions that you will like to ask. Asking no questions may indicate a lack of interest in the role and the company.
From your research and based on your career vision, be sure to ask questions on the areas that you need clarity. This will further prepare you in the event that you get a second interview.
Alternatively, if you get a firm job offer, the more you understand about the company, the easier it is to make informed decision.
I have written an article on essential questions to ask an interviewer can help you as you prepare questions for your interview.
Clarify the interview medium
Be sure to clarify how the interview will be conducted. If the company is overseas, you may be required to attend via Skype or phone.
Preparing for a Skype or phone interview has unique factors that a face to face interview won’t have. There may also be the case where you may need to travel for the interview.
Therefore, get clarity as early as possible. I have written articles on how to prepare for Skype and phone interviews respectively.
Furthermore, I have also completed an article on practical factors to consider if you are travelling for an interview. Feel free to check out these resources if you need should you interview be via these mediums.
Prepare an elevator pitch
Write an elevator pitch to help you to seamlessly introduce yourself to the interviewing panel. Remember that you need to practice it.
Complete a mock interview
A key factor in nailing your job interview is to practice. Therefore practice, practice, practice. You can do this in front of a mirror or with a friend or family member.
Alternatively, you may consider recording your responses. Actually hearing yourself respond to the questions can highlight areas in your answers that require strengthening.
Recording yourself is helpful as well to gauge whether your tone of voice is professional and if it requires improvement.
Dress for success
Your dress is one of the things that the interviewer will observe about you. Be sure to wear professional business attire.
Be careful when wearing loud perfumes as you never know if someone on the panel has allergies for example and the scent may be too much. For ladies especially depending on the role ensure that your jewellery and makeup is not over the top.
Sometimes the slightest thing can work against you in an interview so try to keep colours of nail polish for example professional and neutral.
Remember as well to dress the part even when the interview is being done over Skype as usually the panel can see from your chest and up.
There could be a potential situation where you need to move so keeping your outfit professional from top to bottom is advised.
In addition, it is advisable to prepare a second outfit opinion in the event that you have some type of wardrobe malfunction at the last moment.
Sleep the night before the interview
A good night sleep is important to ensure that you are relaxed and refreshed. If you are tired it may tend to show in your mood and posture. This will truly damage your chances of excelling at the interview.
Pay attention to your body language
Ensure that your body language in addition to what you say, sell you and your skills in a positive light. Sit up straight, smile, nod and engage to show your personality during the meeting. Maintain a professional tone of voice as well.
Carry a notebook and resume to the interview
Have a notebook and pen on hand prepared to make notations of important points that you need to remember. These notes could be valuable to help you succeed during your first 90 days if selected.
Carry a copy of your resume for ease of referral should you need to explain something that you have written.
Be on time
This is one time in your life that being late won’t be acceptable. In the case of face to face interview, leave home on time. Prepare to arrive at about 15 minutes before the scheduled start of the interview.
If you arrive at about half an hour before, I suggest that you wait outside and enter about 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.
For Skype interview, if you are required to add the Skype id, then do so about 24 hours before the call. Be prepared to begin the call at your location about 15 minutes before the start of the interview.
Be on guard
For face to face interviews, remember the interview starts the moment you walk into a company. This means phones on silent from outside.
Every interaction with any official of the company should be considered as part of the interview from the security guard to the receptionist.
Some companies conduct observational style of interviews. You may be accessed by other persons outside of the interview panel.
Other companies test how you treat members of staff like janitors or security guards and this may determine whether they hire you or not.
A company may stage an awkward situation to see your response so be on guard. Therefore, treat every interaction as part of the interview.
A job interview is not only a meeting where the company evaluates you but you also need to determine if you will like to work with the organisation.
Be vigilant during interactions with the company personnel. Observe the way that they communicate, when your interview is scheduled and how individuals on the panel dress.
Look at signs that could give you insight into the company culture and whether the culture is one that you easily adapt to.
Prepare your interview thank you email/ letter
Draft an interview thank you email or letter. The majority of candidates do not usually send these out after the interview. This could be the differentiator between you and another candidate.
For maximum impact be sure and send this out within 24 hours after the interview when the meeting is still top of mind.
Have a memorable closing
Be sure and sum up at the end of the interview your commitment to the company and why the company should hire you. You should prepare a framework while adding related statements from the meeting.
Pay attention to how you feel after the interview
After the interview, pay attention to how you feel. Did you feel comfortable? As an example, if you were interviewed by your immediate manager, was his/her personality one that you can believe that you can work well with?
Your immediate manager is someone who you will have close contact with. If you have any negative statements or impressions, it is vital not to dismiss them.
Job interviews can be nerve racking. So if per chance it did not go as well as you liked, then learn from the experience. Improve on what when wrong so that you can excel at your next opportunity. Keep your head up and look forward.
There are several resources that you may find beneficial if you are preparing for a job interview. Feel free to click any of the links below:-
9 Effective Internal Job Interview Tips
How To Ace An Internal Job Interview
A Comprehensive Guide to Informational Interviewing
7 Red Flags That You Should Look For In A Job Interview
35 Important Things To Do Before, During And After A Job Interview
How To Use the Star Interview Technique To Ace Your Job Interview
10 Job Interview Pitfalls That Job Seekers Must Avoid
How To Pass a Written Job Interview
A Comforting Prayer to Say Before A Job Interview
A Fervent Prayer For A Job Interview
How To Write A Persuasive Elevator Pitch
17 Free Career Aptitude and Personality Tests
Ruthless preparation is of paramount importance for a successful job interview. Trust these job interview tips and tricks help you ace your upcoming interview.
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