How to Prepare for a Job Interview
Job interview is one of the rigorous processes an employer will have to go through in trying to hire the best applicant to fill a vacant position in an establishment. Applicants seeking for job, after submitting the application and (maybe) a cover letter and/or resume still have a lot more work to do before he can finally land the dream job. One of such and most importantly, is the interview. This is where you would probably have your first interaction with your potential employer, and so, you will have to make a great first impression. The first impression will include the areas such as appearance (dressing and look), knowledge of the organization and your competency for the job.
To achieve this and create the needed terrific first impression, there are a number of things you must do before and after the interview.
One of the first and most important things you should do is to taking time to prepare for the interview. This can be the great boast you need to securer the job. Making findings about the company (background check), analyzing the job to understand the job descriptions, learning about how to tackle the questions , etc. are some of the journeys we are going to take you through in this post.
1. Know Who Your Employer is
This is an important question you should be able to answer convincingly before going for an interview. Spend time to learn everything there is to know about the company. Get information from different sources, Research! Talk to people; if possible, ask questions from the present staff members of the same establishment. By all means, get acquainted with who the company is and what they stand for, their core values, mission and vision, policies and see how you put up a similar personality during the interview.
To better understand the company, check out the company website, specifically the “About Us” page where you could get the company’s vision and mission. Find out more information about the company on their social media platforms such as the Facebook pages, twitter handle, etc. Find out and compare the company’s position with their competitors in the industry by reading articles about the company in industry magazines or websites. Gather as much information as you can about the company since you are going to be part of the company and “fit” into the company during interview.
2. Analyze The Job
This is another crucial part of an interview. Take time to analyze the job posting and know the job description. You have to know what the company is seeking in a candidate. Understand the qualifications, skills and professional qualities associated with and required by the employers and make a list of them. Compare the list of your assets to the requirements needed. Remember that you are to convince your employers that your assets are good enough for the job. By assets, we mean your skills, qualities, educational qualifications, experiences as well as professional qualifications, knowledge, etc.
Sometimes, the interviewer may ask you to demonstrate when and how you demonstrated a particular skill or ability. Questions like this should not cause you to panic. Before the interview, think of the examples in the past from your previous work where you have demonstrated these qualities and by so doing, you will be ready to answer the questions confidently if asked.
3. Dress and Appear Accordingly
As much as possible, don’t wait until the last minute before you start looking for the clothes you will wear for interview. Regardless of the type of the job, that first impression mentioned earlier matter and should be really great. Appear neat and smart to an interview. Keep your look basic and conservative for the first time. Avoid “shouty” colours. Ensure that you get your outfit cleaned, neat and well ironed. Get your shoes polished, trim your hair as a guy, shaven up and look. As a lady, it is important you think about the make-up, manicure and accessories, including the hair styling, when dressing for interviews.
4. Take the Right Documents Along
It is not all your documents/credentials that you should take a job interview (except it is clearly stated by the company). it is important to know what to bring and what you ought not to take to an interview. Some of the useful items to take to an interview include your portfolio with extra copies of your resume (in case you may need to give to the interviewers), a list of reference, a list of questions to ask the interviewers and a notepad. What not to bring to an interview include your cell phone. If you must take it with you, it should be turned off. Don’t put gums in your mouth. You may also want to take along a special emergency kit for unexpected situation such as umbrella, breath mint, etc. everything you need should be neatly organized and readily accessible.
5. Practice Interview Etiquette.
There is what is called interview etiquette and is very important you practice them prior the interview. Don’t be in such a hurry that you forget to greet the receptionist. Greet the interviewers as you walk into the interview hall and everyone else you meet. Be polite, pleasant and enthusiastic. Don’t be loose with your body language. Shake hands firmly if you must shake. Pay attention and be interesting. Make firm eye contact as you articulate your points. There are several other specific etiquette tips depending on the type of interview (for example, lunch or dinner interview, panel interview, phone interview, or a video interview). You need to practice these etiquette appropriately. Remember, as noted earlier, you have to make a great positive first impression.
6. Practice Interviewing
It is important to spend time and think carefully about the skills, accomplishments and answers that will interest your interviewers most. Don’t prepare by writing out your entire answer to the list of common interview questions you’ve got. Instead, jot down the few points, keeping them on for the interview. Take time to practice how to answer possible interview questions such as “Tell me about yourself”, “Why should we hire you?”, “What is your biggest weakness”, etc. You will need to hit these questions without missing any. That can only be possible if you have taken time to practice how to answer them before the interview. You can do some mock interviews with your friends and family members. Also, prepare some few smart questions so you can ask when it is your time to ask. Ensure that the questions are thoughtful and should show that you’ve been following the conversation and have done your homework well.
7. Know Your Direction
It is fascinating how people not know where they want to go for interview, but get dressed up on that interview day for the interview! Friend, it is important that you know where you need to go for the job interview ahead of time, especially if it is in places you are not familiar with. By doing this, you will not only avoid running late, but will also arrive the venue relaxed and stabilized. Get help from GPS and Google map; ask for the location from people. Know how to get to the venue and be there on time. Confirm the time for the interview and don’t be late.
8. Participate in the Interview
During the interview, listening to the interviewers is as important as your asking questions. So, you should pay attention to the interviewers so you know what to say when it is your turn to ask. This is your response. Don’t be in a hurry to answer the questions as they are asked. Take your time to understand the question and find the most appropriate approach to answering them.
9. Follow up with a “Thank You Note”
As simple as it may sound, this note could be magical and could the reason why you land the job. Following up a job interview with a “thank you note” reiterates your interest in the job. In the thank you note, restate why you want the job and how you can make major contributions to the organization.