Job interviews can be extremely daunting. In the current knowledge economy which is driven by technology, it is very easy for employers to gauge through your personality beforehand. That adds to the pressure and increased competition for top roles leaves little room for errors.
It is thus crucial to make the most of your opportunities. Getting a job interview is that opportunity which opens door to new challenges and opportunities. Thus, every candidate needs to ensure that they give their 100%.
Here are some crucial tips that can help you prepare for a job interview in order to ace the same.
1. Do some background research
Well begun is half done. We all know that. However, our busy schedule and work life engagements don’t give us enough time to do proper background research. This can be a fatal flaw in preparing for a great interview.
A proper background research does a whole world of good to your interview preparation by subconscious conditioning of your mind.
Applicants must make sure to do the background research on at least the points given below. This gives a feel of the process.
- Top industry trends
- Company products and services
- Job description
and so on.
You should also be well aware of some of the topmost skills employers look for in general and be ready to discuss about it with relevant examples.
2. Know your Resume and Cover Letter properly
You might be using your CV from the previous job application and same can be the case for your cover letter.
It is expected from you that you are aware of your CV in and out.
Interviewer might pull up details from CV or cover letter that might catch you off guard.
Spending some time on thorough reading of your CV and cover letter helps you absorb the minute details that you have mentioned there.
3. Know about various Interview types and the interviewer(s)
- Are you aware if your interview is going to be one to one?
- Or is it going to be multiple interviewers in the room?
- Who is going to be the interviewer. Hiring manager, Human resource manager, Recruiter, Sales Director etc.?
- Are you expected to do some tests before you head to the interview room? Which are the forms to be filled?
- Is there a possibility of group discussion or a case study?
It is crucial to know what type of interview is going to happen. Your recruiter would be more than happy to find exact details about the same to help you prepare well. Moreover, it also pictures you in good colour for showing interest and for your willingness to go an extra mile.
Once you have your answers, do some mock interviews for the interview type to get used to the same.
Also, check the name and designation of your interviewer or interviewers. Then try to look at their LinkedIn profile so that you can have some idea on who is going to be on the other side of the table on the day of interview.
4. Check most common interview questions and answers
You are sure to get a few questions that would surprise you. To ensure you are best prepared and alert for the surprise questions, it is advisable that most common questions are prepared beforehand.
This tip for a successful interview preparation might look like a no brainer but a lot of candidates still ignore this.
Avoid the overconfidence in handling the most common questions. Having these on your finger tips can be more than handy if the interview gets stressful and long.
Here’s an interesting video, by the largest job search website Indeed, that dissects a job interview into various parts. This short video provides a lot of useful tips and takes you through a typical interview and discusses some of the most important questions, body language, attitude and more. Have a look!
5. Be ready for the salary question
At some point of time during the interview, you would be asked for your expectations.
The budget at times is flexible and the recruiter as well as interviewer would want you to grab the opportunity at minimum possible budget.
Keep the below in mind so as to be ready for the salary question.
- You must be well aware of the industry average for your specific role.
- Check all the perks and benefits available to similar roles in the industry.
- Prepare a range of your expectations. Set up a minimum and a maximum. A maximum because you can’t go overboard with your request.
- Use tools like Payscale and Glassdoor to do some background research on salaries.
- Don’t forget to add convenience cost, training, career opportunities as intangibles to your expected range.
It is always useful to have the above settled in your mind before the day of interview.
6. Be ready with a few work experience examples and references
You would certainly be asked about your previous work experience and your previous firms.
Be ready for these questions.
Have some ready examples and references. You should be able to pick a few challenging situations, few winning moments and some people who would endorse your previous work.
Try to use storytelling technique like the STAR method of behavioural questions to illustrate your work experience examples. It always has a better impression on the interviewer.
However, please make your answers and examples crisp and concise.
7. Be ready with a few questions for the interviewer
After the barrage of questions from interviewers, there would be time when you would be asked to come with any queries and questions.
It is here where your preparation related to the background research comes super handy.
Throw in some data that you have researched or point out a problem that needs to be solved.
Or try to praise some product your service or a recent charitable effort.
Then you must discuss about the role and get enough clarity about what is expected from you by the organisation. This helps you to be on the same page as the organisation.
Some of the best examples of questions can be:
- What are some of the best projects that needs addressing?
- What would be some of the challenges that I might face in this new role?
- What sort of training programs can I expect upon joining the role?
- What are the growth plans of the company?
- How big is my team going to be and whom do I work with closely?
- Are there team activities outside office?
and so on. There can be many questions. This can be one of the most useful tips for acing your interview. It is this section where you can display your knowledge about the company and the role.
8. Work on your body language and have the interview requisites ready beforehand
It is obvious to have anxieties related to your job interview. Just try to absorb them. It is crucial to work on your body language.
- Be confident.
- Have all your materials, documents ready a night before the interview day.
- Smile more often, read books, relax.
- Practice the interview rituals beforehand like your posture, handshake, tell me about yourself question etc to get rid of initial anxiety.
- Select your dress and keep them organised.
- Finally, take care of your body and mind- Eat healthy meal, take rest and sleep well.
Hope you found these 8 tips to prepare for a successful interview interesting.
Whether you are in the technology industry, financial service, the hospitality industry or any other sector, you are set to face multiple interviews during your career. Please do remember that all interviews are different.
Prepare for your next interview with the same zeal as if it’s your first interview ever. Let it be a great learning experience for you. The results would follow.