Importance of Preparing for an Interview
Facing a job interview can be nerve racking but it is an essential part of getting a job. No matter how much you prepare by the end of the day you feel the panic rising. Don't fret because there are many ways through which you can prepare for a job interview. The best way to face an interview is to prepare for it. Once you are fully prepared for an interview you will feel a lot relaxed and in control.
Facing an interview requires skills be it for any job. Getting a desired job is getting harder day by day and things have changed recently. Although education is important but having work experience plays an important role in it. Making a perfect impression on an interview is crucial but having a good resume is equally important. We have compiled a list of skills that will help you prepare of an interview and get that job you have been waiting for.
Tips on Preparing for a Job Interview
Research about the Industry and Company.
Doing a thorough research of the industry or the company is the first and foremost thing to do when you start preparing for a job. Knowing the company you are applying to is very important as the interviewer usually asks about what you know about the company and its values. If you are not able to give a satisfactory answer to this particular question you might end up in the list of non selected applicants.
Another benefit of doing a research on the company is that it makes you excited about the company. You will be able to figure out which skills fit perfectly with the job description and can prepare accordingly. The interviewer usually wants to see your excitement and enthusiasm for the work you have applied for. It will also help you to decide if you agree to the terms and conditions of the company.
An interviewer may ask how you perceive his company's position in its industry, who the firm's competitors are, what its competitive advantages are, and how it should best go forward. For this reason, avoid trying to thoroughly research a dozen different industries. Focus your job search on just a few industries instead.
While researching about the company you should check out how the company treats its employees, you can check the reviews of the current and past employees; you can also understand the policies of the company and decide if you agree to it. You should also look for the kind of leaves and incentives they offer before going for an interview. You can also find out the goals and the reasons behind it during your research. By doing a proper research of the company you will feel confident and will be able to answer questions with ease and impress the interviewer.
Examine the Job Description
Another important thing to do while preparing for an interview is to examine the job description properly. The job description is a guide to understand the requirements of the company and the job profile; it will show you what the company expects you to do. You can easily check out if you are qualified for the job or if you have proper work experience for the vacancy. If you are able to understand the job description properly you will be able to create your CV as per the requirements and will be able to figure the questions you should ask during the interview to show that you have prepared well for the interview.
The job description is the best tool if you want to get that particular job. Read it carefully and then decided if you are ready to give what the job desires. You will feel much more confident once you know that you have all the qualification and experience for the job.
Make a Match
After researching about the company and reading the JD properly you will be prepared to apply for the job but before that make sure you match your skill set with the requirements. Start with making a list of your assets and match them with the JD.
You can easily come up with at least 10 assets that match with the JD; they could be your qualities, certifications, experiences, professional qualifications, computer skills etc. When asked what makes you a perfect candidate for the job you can easily quote the JD and showcase these assets to convince the interviewer that you are the one and only perfect candidate for the job.
You can also state your past experiences to prove how you used your assets in your previous job and what you achieved from it. This way the interviewer will be impressed with your research and your knowledge of the JD and you can bag that job.
Study Your Resume Thoroughly
Imagine yourself sitting in front of an interviewer and not knowing your resume well, a disaster right? You need to know your resume inside out with all your experiences and the dates of joining and leaving your previous jobs without getting confused. It is common for an interviewer to ask details on your previous jobs to try and understand if you fit the job requirements. You should be able to answer the questions about your resume without hesitation and with full confidence for the interviewer to know that you know what you are talking about and that your resume is not fabricated.
Practice Non-Verbal Communication
Non verbal communication is vital during an interview. An interview is not just about your qualifications and experiences, you need to show that you are confident by making the right gestures like standing straight, making proper eye contact with all the people sitting on the opposite side of the table, shaking hands firmly etc. These are the little things that show that you may be a fit candidate for the job. The interviewers not only listen to you but they pay close attention to your body language, your facial expressions to understand how you feel about the company and the job.
While preparing for an interview you should stand in front of a mirror and practice non verbal communication. You will feel relaxed and confident if you know how to carry yourself during an interview. Make sure you make proper eye contact while answering questions but don't overdo them especially if the interviewer is of different sex as this may send mixed signals. Practice using a low and even tone of voice while answering questions as it has been proven that people who use lower voice tend to impress people and are taken more seriously in comparison to people who use a high pitched or shrill voice. Pay attention to how you sit during the interview; don't cross your hands and lean forward. Practice active listening. Stay calm if you face a difficult question, make sure you don't get irritated or frown during an interview. Stay relaxed and smile you will be taken as a confident person who knows their job well.
Line up Your Questions for the Interviewer.
It is recommended to come up with a list of questions you can ask during an interview and you can do that only if you have done your research properly and know the job description well. It is common for an interviewer to ask you if you have any questions regarding the job and you should have them, saying "no" might mean that either you are not very interested in the job or you don't know the company well enough to ask questions. Sit with the JD and see what the things you can ask during an interview are.
Practicing or conducting mock interviews for you is always a good idea. It will help you figure out the kind of questions you might have to answer and come up with a strategy to answer them to impress the person. They also help you improve your communication skills and reduce stress. You can practice on non verbal communications like how you will enter, sit and talk during an interview; it will help ease your anxiety for the interview.
Check to see if the interview is being held on phone, Skype or face to face and do mock interview sessions accordingly to be fully prepared for it. You can ask a family member or a friend to help you with it, they can guide you and tell you your shortcomings which you can work on and be prepared for the real thing. Think of the questions you might be asked and come up with perfect answers for them. The best part about these mock interviews is that you are able to get a proper feedback which you won't get during an actual interview, this will help you be ready for the actual interview with full of confidence.
Be Ready to Handle Inappropriate Questions.
Interviews can be scary for many reasons and one of the reasons is that you might be asked questions that are inappropriate or illegal. These questions might be awkward and make you uneasy but you should always be prepared for such questions. Questions like your race, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation are deemed inappropriate but are commonly asked during an interview. You can choose to answer them with confidence or simply say that it is not relevant to the job. Most of the time these questions are asked to understand if you will be able to do the job well, questions like if you have kids or if you plan to have kids might be asked to understand how much time you will be able to devote to the company, you can simply answer by saying you are not sure if you will plan kids or if you have kids you can tell them that having kids does not mean that you won't be able to give desired results to the company.
These questions may seem normal but at times lead to discrimination against you as a candidate. The best thing to do is to politely change the topic, give a short answer and ask how it is relevant to the job. You also need to remember that these questions are ice breakers too therefore before you get all worked up hearing these questions stay calm and answer them according to the situation. Practice them during your mock interview and work on them as per the feedback.
Print Hard Copies of Your Resume
Times have changed and most of the work is done digitally these days. The CVs are sent via mail before an interview but it is always good to have hard copies for your resume with you when you go for an interview. You should have a couple of them to hand it to the people taking the interview so that they can read it thoroughly and make notes on them if needed. It also shows that you have prepared for an interview and have thought about all the aspects including the interview. You should also have a copy of your CV in front of you during the interview so that you can discuss your skills with confidence.
Another reason for making copies of the CV and bringing them with you is that technology can fail anytime, they might have mistakenly deleted your CV or the printer doesn't work and they don't have the copies to refer too, therefore providing them with a backup copy is always a good idea. Don't wait for the last day to print copies, do it a couple of days before the interview and keep all your papers together to avoid any mistakes on the day of the interview.
Get Your Interview Clothes Ready
Once you are all done preparing yourself for the interview prepare on what you will wear on the D-day. It is important to know what looks good on you and will make you feel confident and fit for the interview. Wash the outfit you choose, iron it and hang it in your closet, gather the accessories you want to wear that day like your watch, or that simple stud earring, your hair pin etc and keep them together to save time on the day of the interview.
You should choose an outfit that speaks volume about yourself, remember your first impression is your last one and an outfit plays a major role in it. You will be able to guess the kind of attire people wear in the company during the research and prepare likewise. Make sure you look professional because even if you have a perfect resume and great communication skills the way you present yourself can either get you a job or won't get you the job.
Top Questions Asked in an Interview
Here is a list of commonly asked questions in an interview and how you can answer them confidently.
- "Tell me a little about yourself." You don't need to start with your family history, simply tell them about your previous jobs and why you left it or tell them why you took a certain course or joined a certain college etc.
- Why should we hire you? Be confident and prepare a sales pitch which will explain what you have to offer the company, how your skills will benefit the company.
- What is your greatest strength? Don't tell them how you can make people laugh, tell them what qualifies you for the particular job and sets you apart from other applicants.
- How Did You Hear About This Position? Tell them where you heard about the job and what made you interested in it. Tell them what makes you the best person for the job.
- Why Do You Want to Work at This Company? Don't give generic answers, think of something different. Tell them what makes that company different than others and why you decided to join it, tell them how you have seen the company grow in the past and what you can offer to make it grow further. Also tell them what you will achieve personally by being a part of the company. Be specific
- What are your weaknesses? This is a tough one, most of us try to find a weakness and show how you can change it into strength but the right thing to do is to actually tell them your weakness and how you are working on making it better.
- Why did you leave (or why are you leaving) your job? Never say negative things about your previous company or the manager. Think of a positive way of showing why you left the job. You can tell them that you feel you can grow or learn more by working for their company etc.
- What salary are you seeking? Try to find out the pay scale of the company before going to the interview, find out the current rate in the industry and work on that. You can also tell them that this can be discussed later or ask them what they usually pay with someone with your experience and skill set.
- Tell Me about a Challenge or Conflict You’ve Faced at Work, and How You Dealt with It. This is a great question as this gives you an opportunity to prove your skill by giving a live example. Don't pretend that you have never faced a challenge, think of situations you have handled in the past and tell them in detail.
How to Calm Your Nerves Before an Interview
Interviews are stressful, they can leave you feeling anxious but there are many different ways through which you can calm yourself and prepare for it. Here is a list of things you can do before going for an interview.
- Call a friend and tell them that you are nervous, simply saying you’re nervous helps you relax plus talking to someone you trust will help you calm down.
- Meditation is good, sit in a quiet place, and take some deep breaths and focus. It will relax you immediately.
- Smile instantly makes you positive therefore smile even if you don't feel like smiling. It helps you reduce stress and lowers your heart rate.
- Instead of taking an interview as a challenge think of it as an opportunity to understand where you stand in a professional set up.
- Take a long walk or jog for a while it releases endorphins and makes you happy.
- STOP method is a great mental trick to relax you. Stop whatever you are doing and focus on your thoughts. Take deep breaths, observe what you are feeling like your emotions, mind etc. Proceed by incorporating what you have observed in your actions. It gives you the power to get rid of your fears and cool yourself down.
- Last but not the least, prepare for the worst. You won't get this job but then this is not the only job left. There will always be other or better opportunities waiting for you. So relax and so you’re best without being too hard on yourself.
Crack that Important Interview in 2020 with These Amazing Tips
You have been waiting for that dream job since long and it is right there, knocking at your door. Take the leap and with some preparations, you can nail that interview. Best of luck for your next big interview!