Prepare for the Basic Things First
Follow the Dress Code
Preparing for an interview? Start with the basic things first. The clothes you will be wearing to the interview is one of the essential aspects to consider. You are looking to create a fantastic first impression and being well-dressed is where you should get started. Keep everything formal and completely avoid anything flashy. However, make sure that you are comfortable and confident in whatever you are wearing.
Get to Know Everything about the Company and the Role
Whenever you apply for a job and get shortlisted for the personal interview round, the first thing you definitely need to do is to research about the company and the role very well. Researching everything about the company helps you in giving the right context when any question is asked. Also, your knowledge about the company shows your interest in the job too. Moreover, get to know what the job position actually demands from you.
Put All the Required Documents Together
Do we even need to remind you about it? This is very obvious that you should put together all the required documents in a file. Make sure the documents are chronologically arranged in a sturdy file that gives out a good impression. You should also have at least 2-3 copies of your resume handy with you along with other special documents listed in the interview guidelines.
How to Prepare for an Interview
Go Through the Job Description and Prepare Accordingly
The job description provided to you isn’t just a simple piece of information but plays a very important role and acts as a meaningful guide to your preparation. Your prep work should always start by examining the job description provided to you by the company. This mini-guide helps you in getting to know about the qualities and skills specifically required for this job and whether you have them or not.
The more you align your resume and portfolio as per the job description, the more you are likely to get selected for this role. In fact, a job description can also help you in determining the potential questions that may be asked in the job interview. Also, if there is any specific skill mentioned in the description and you possess it, then do not forget to mention it in the interview as it can leave a mark on the selection committee.
Practice the Common Interview Questions
The very basic answer for how to prepare for an interview would be to practice the common interview questions. You can ask your friends or family members to help you prepare for these questions by organizing a mock interview. Your past interview experiences and the internet can also help you a lot in determining these questions for you.
You can also work on the obvious parts of the interview like your academics, your skills, and your basic information. Moreover, if you are supposed to give a test related to your job then you should prepare for the same as well i.e. coding, logical reasoning, etc.
Some of the most common questions asked in an interview are related to your strength and weaknesses, your future goals and expectations, the reason you want this job, your achievements and failures, among others.
Know Your Facts
You must have heard about the fact that your first impression is your last impression and it turns out to be quite true for occasions like job interviews. The committee will get a limited time to interact with you and you should make sure that you get them on your side within the first 5 minutes of the interview.
For this, you need to get a good head start by preparing well regarding the facts related to you. Usually, the interviewers ask about your details and description in the initial questions and this is where you need to garner the brownie points.
No mistakes are acceptable at this point because this piece of information is all about you and your academics. Know your facts well and convey the same to your interviewers in a way that portrays your self-confidence.
Body Language Matters
Another thing that plays a crucial role in a job interview is your body language, which is why you need to prepare for that as well. There is no shortcut to it and there is no way you can determine how nervous or confident you will be when you will be facing the questions. However, the least you can do is to prepare well for it so that you do not get a nervous breakdown out there.
The key to keep your calm and confidence is by pausing for a while when the question is asked. This way you get a few sections to construct an answer in your mind which leads to fewer chances of stammering or forgetting anything. Moreover, do not shake your legs and hands as it shows your nervousness. Use the gesture of your hands to explain things as it portrays you as a strong and confident person.
Work on Your Interview Etiquette
In order to ace your interview, you should be well aware of the basic interview etiquettes and there is no rocket science in it. Make sure that you follow every guideline and every rule possible in this period of 1-2 hours.
Amidst the nervousness of the interview, do not forget to greet the receptionist and your interviewer too. Shake your hands firmly with the interviewers and do not forget to keep a warm but controlled smile on your face to reflect your positivity. Some of the other things which are included in the interview etiquette are making eye contacts while articulating your points, being a good speaker as well as a good listener too, looking interested to even the tiniest of details, being polite, and pleasant and many more.
Work on Your Tone and Communication Skills
One of the very important tips to learn how to prepare for an interview is to work on your communication skills and tone of your voice while answering the questions. Your tone can make you appear confident and strong in no time which is a major USP in interviews. Please do not answer the questions in such a way that you are just reading them out from a book. This is where your tone and pitch of your voice helps. Speak in a way that you instantly gain the attention of the hiring managers towards you. You can always improve your tone and communication skills by practicing in front of a mirror or with a friend. By improving your communication skills, you will be able to include impressive and powerful words in your everyday conversations which can leave a big mark on the person you are talking to.
Prepare Some Questions
You are not just supposed to be a good speaker but a good listener too. This is why always listen carefully to what the interviewers are saying as you may get to learn something amazing from their experience. So, when the interviewers ask you about the questions you have for them, you should not miss this opportunity at all. This is why prepare some questions from your side too and it should not include “When can I join?” or “What is the compensation for the said role?”
You can also ask questions to understand the working and culture of the company. This not only builds an important relationship with the interviewers but also puts you in a good light too. You will look interested and attentive by asking questions and this may turn out to be enough to impress the hiring managers.
Prepare Your Bag for the Interview
Apart from just working on how to prepare for interview questions, you should also work on other things too which includes how you look and the things you carry. If you are carrying a bag or briefcase for the interview then you should make sure that it should be big enough to carry all your important documents and other things in it. Apart from your documents file, you should also extra copies of your resume, emergency items like breath mints, band-aids, umbrella, etc. You can also carry a water bottle of your own if you want.
Things that you shouldn’t carry to your interview are any messy eatables or anything else that isn't needed. You should also carry a notepad, pen, and your wallet in your bag. You can also carry a small comb to set your hair in the last moment in order to look presentable.
Do Not Forget to Follow Up
If you think you are done doing your side of the job once the interview is over then you are absolutely wrong about it. You need to leave no stone unturned to make sure that you get this job and the best way to do so is by following up well after the interview is over.
You can send your interviewer a thank-you email which is a great way to follow up afterward the interview. This letter can include a quick summary of how you make a perfect candidate for the job and what are the qualifications you have. You should never miss opportunities like these to connect with the interviewers once again. You might even get lucky to discuss a few things that were not asked in the interview before and it connects you more with the interviewer. This also shows your interest in the job which leaves a positive impression.
Sleep Well Before an Interview
Well, the above tips are definitely helpful to learn how to prepare for an interview, but there is something you should do for yourself for this preparation. Amidst this rush, you should not forget to focus on yourself and make sure that you get proper rest before you go for the interview.
Sleep deprivation is one of the biggest causes of lacking confidence and calmness in an interview or at any other significant event of your life. The only way to stay focused on the interview is by giving complete rest to your mind so that you can prepare well for the next big day. Also, eat such breakfast which doesn’t make you feel drowsy or sleepy. You should look alert and attentive in the interview and not sleepy and tired.
Things You Should Never Do During a Job Interview
When you are learning how to prepare for an interview for a job, you should also get to know about the things you are not supposed to do on a job interview. There are some unsaid rules you need to follow and if you are quite nervous then we are here to help. Down below are the very obvious but important things you are not supposed to do on a job interview.
Talk Too Soon or Too Much about the Money
This is the general rule of thumb that you shouldn’t be the first person to talk about the money when in an interview. Even when things are going good and you have very much impressed the interview panel, never bring up the discussion of money from your side. This can be a big turn off for the hiring committee especially when they are not even sure about hiring you yet.
Be Too Late or Too Early
You are neither supposed to look too casual for the job nor too desperate. Arriving late for your interview is a big No-No and more importantly not apologizing for being late is even worse. In the same way, being too early can show that you have too much time on your plate and it can make you look desperate too. Make sure to arrive for the interview 10-15 minutes early.
Criticising Your Previous Employers
The very basic rule of how to prepare for an interview is to remember that you should keep all the aspects in a positive direction, no matter what. Trash talking about your previous employer shows what kind of personality you actually have and this proves you to be a really bad asset for the company. Nobody would like to hire someone who is going to trash talk about them in their next job interview.
Leave Your Cell Phone On
When you are going for an interview you should not only look interested but be interested too. Please keep your cell phone switched off no matter what. Nobody wants to get interrupted by a cell phone beep and especially a call. Remember that they are not going to tell you about switching off your phone and you would have to do that on your own.
Start with the Right Expectations
Even though as the person being interviewed and assessed for a role, you must follow the expected etiquettes but also remember that an interview is actually a conversation and a two-way street and you can respectfully ask for all the information you need about the company and be honest about your expectations so that both you and your potential employer are on the same page about each other's expectations.