Job interviews never become easy even when you have been to more interviews than you can count. With each job interview, you meet new people and try to sell your skills. The interviewing process helps you realize what you know and what you do not. However, each time you need to stay upbeat and enthusiastic throughout an interview.
Remember, the interview is not an exam and you do not need to prepare for hours rather just due diligence in researching the company. Understand the job description properly and make sure that you line up your previous experiences with that description. Here are a few steps you can follow to ace that big interview.
1. Do Your Research Ahead Of Time –Due Diligence
One of the most common steps would be to research the company you are applying for. Before you go in, sit down and research them online.
Do not forget to evaluate their profiles on other social media platforms along with their website. This will provide you insights into what is going on in the company, plus might help you understand how their organization functions.
There are various job posting groups where you can ask for a review of the organization. People who have previously worked there might help you to decide on joining the company or not. It may also give you talking points to discuss with your employer.
2. Your Clothes Are The First Impression
The idea is to dress for the job you want, not the one you have. Even when we have heard this quote countless times, it could not be any closer to the truth. Presenting yourselves in front of others matters in many situations.
Do not show up in jeans and t-shirts with flip flops and messy hair, even when they have mentioned the relaxed environment. Put a few efforts in choosing your final look on the big day. For men, a nice pair of slacks, button-down shirts, and blazer with office pants are appropriate. For women, a nice power-suit or business-style dress with a jacket that goes with it.
On the other side, do not overdress. Do not show up in an evening blown gown or tux. You need to find that sweet spot in the middle of the two. Make sure that you are well-groomed, brush your hair and teeth, and do not overuse the cologne.
3. List Your Skills Relevant To The Job Description
After all that research, it is time to prepare a list of things that you will be bringing to the table. Your skills should strictly be relevant to the role you have applied for. After reading the job description, highlight the important parts and jolt them done on a paper. In front of each point, write parts from your CV or past experiences that are relevant to each point.
Show your employer how you can be a beneficial addition to the team. It will also prove to the employer that you are a team player. Prepare these points and read them over and over again so you can deliver it with relevant examples during the interview.
4. Prepare Your Thought-Provoking Questions
You can easily be forgettable to hiring managers if you fail to ask a solid question. Not preparing questions beforehand shows that either you were not prepared or aren’t interested in the position.
After your due diligence, it is pretty easy to come up with questions you might want the company to answer. The questions should be thought-provoking, showing that you have done your homework.
Also, it helps you clear any misunderstandings or confusion regarding the company and the position. Some of the good questions include:
What qualities are you looking for in a candidate for this role?
This proves the interviewer that you are interested in the position and are willing to know if you are the right person for it. It will also give you an idea about the expectations the interviewer has and whether you have covered them all up or not.
How does the company promote employee growth?
From this question, the interviewer will gather that you are ambitious and are motivated to learn new things. They will see you as an opportunity to sell the company.
What is team structure and whom will I be reporting to?
This question shows that you are interested in the people you would be working for/with.
5. Waking Up Early On The Interview Morning
It is no new to advise someone to wake up extra early on the morning of their interview. If you have time, hit the gym or go for a run and get those endorphins going. This calms you down and gives a boost to your confidence.
Do the activities that would put you in a good mood. Prepare yourself a healthy breakfast and give yourself enough time to sit and enjoy it before leaving for the interview. We understand that being nervous before the interview is common, and sometimes it gets harder to swallow anything down your throat.
But we recommend that you try to have a good meal. A small bowl of cereal, some fruit, and coffee or tea are enough.
Before you head for your interview, make a friendly chat with someone about something other than the interview. It will help you loosen yourself a bit.
6. Stay Calm During Your Interview
Try to calm your nerves before the interview by not obsessing over it too much. After all the great prep you did over the last few days, there’s not much you can do at the last moment, it will only make you nervous.
It is common to be nervous during the interview and your employers expect you to be. Here are a few tips that will help you calm your nerves:
- Smile and give a firm handshake
- A short icebreaker question, like “how’s your day going?”. This gets things going on at an informal level.
- Think about your posture and make sure that when you are sitting straight up and not fidgeting. Try not to sit too rigid, or you will look and feel uncomfortable.
- Compose yourself, take a moment to think before answering any question. Think back to the notes you have prepared and then deliver the answer in the best possible way.
7. Answer Open Interview Questions Carefully And Concisely
The usual interview starts with a simple and generic question like “Tell us a bit about yourself”. The question means that you explain why you’re an ideal candidate for this position. Things like your degree, past experiences, any certified courses, and the reason why went for this career will suffice. Keep it brief.
These questions are to just know your background and past experiences, don’t take them too informally as first impressions are incredibly important.
8. Handle Difficult Interview Questions With Confidence
After warm-up questions, interviewers will gradually increase the difficulty level. If a difficult question comes up, there is no hard and fast rule regarding how to handle it. Here are a few tips about answering these types of questions:
- Answer them directly (avoid waffling).
- Give a clear explanation with examples whenever you can.
- Explain how your current skill is relevant to the job.
- While talking about your strengths, mention that you’re keen to learn new things and improve in your role.
It is okay to say “NO”. If there is something in the job description that you haven’t experienced before, just politely decline. You can simply say, “Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to work with it yet. But I’m always open to learning.”
9. Thank Your Interviewer For Their Time
One thing you can do to stand out is a follow-up email to the interviewer. Write an email to thank them for their time. This will keep you in the minds of hiring managers for a long time.
One last thing to say is… good luck!
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