Just the thought of appearing for a personal interview can give a bout of jitters to even the most confident of individuals. Interviews today are no longer a mere interrogation about your background and interests. Hiring managers use an interview process to test all your skills at once — creative thinking, decision-making, communication and more — to assess whether you are the right fit for a job or not. And if you are not well-prepared, you might feel under confident and lose an amazing career opportunity.
So, how do we not make this mistake? The answer is simple: by preparing yourself well.
Here we have a few tips that you can use to prepare for your next interview.
1) Research about the company and its business
The first and foremost step in the process of preparing for an interview is understanding the company and its business. Hiring managers do not have any intention to hire someone who isn’t well-versed with the activities and achievements of the company they are interviewing for.
Now, how do we gather that information?
Visit their official website to skim through the pages like “about us”, “services”, “products”, and “blog”. You can also check out the company’s LinkedIn profile to find out more about its recent ventures, business models and plans.
Doing so will also help you comprehend how you are a good fit for the company (which, of course, the interviewer will ask), and whether a career in the company can align with your career goals or not.
2) Re-read the job description
We know that you thoroughly read the job description before applying for it but it’s necessary to again go through it to ace your interview. That is how:
- You will get the needed clarity on what exactly the company is looking for in a candidate, and how you can meet the specifications
- The kind of responsibilities you will be taking up; and if there’s any query, you can easily resolve it during the interview. This will leave no room for any misunderstanding. Also, the interviewer will be impressed with your curiosity and interest in the position
- It will help you discuss the relevant skills you already have and the ones that you are ready to acquire to become more efficient and productive at work
3) Keep your answers ready for the commonly asked questions
Regardless of the field or position you are preparing for, the chances are that you would be asked certain questions that are common to every interview. Here are some interview questions for which you must have your answers ready:
- Tell us about yourself – your qualifications and interests?
- Why do you want to join this company?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What makes you fit for this role?
- Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
- Why should we hire you?
- Do you have any questions for us?
Preparing for these questions will present you as a confident individual and will strengthen your chances of getting hired.
4) Plan the questions you want to ask the interviewer
When an interviewer asks “Do you have any questions for us?”, you should not simply say no and walk away. This is the time to show your curiosity about the position and the company by asking a few relevant questions. However, it’s of utmost importance to know what to ask. Here are a few questions that can help you leave a positive impression on the interviewer:
- What does the company expect me to achieve in the next 30-50 days?
- Why is the company looking to hire someone new for this position?
- What are some challenges I might encounter in this role?
- How will my performance be reviewed?
- Who will I be reporting to directly?
- What skills do I require to excel in this role?
- Do you have any feedback for me?
Remember that the interviewer will have multiple candidates to interview in a day, so make sure to ask only 2-3 appropriate questions.
5) Smile and make eye contact throughout the interview
Your body language will be scrutinised throughout the interview, so make sure to smile and maintain eye contact while addressing the questions. Doing this will help you convey that you are confident, know what you are saying, have the ability to engage, and are easy to approach in a corporate setting.
6) Reach 15-20 minutes early at the location
Reaching 15-20 minutes early for your interview will allow you to leave a good first impression. At the same time, it will indicate that you are well-organised and punctual – two skills every organisation greatly values. So, plan your travel time accordingly. In addition, if you get late due to circumstantial disruptions like traffic or heavy rain, make sure to inform your hiring manager about it on time.
Experts also suggest not arriving too early as that can force the managers to make sudden changes in their schedule, and that can be frustrating for them. Now that’s something you would want to avoid at any cost.
7) Goes without saying, dress formally
If you wish to become the face of a company, then you must come well-dressed in formal clothing. Prefer wearing a button-down shirt with pants, and stay away from colourful accessories. Also, your clothes should be perfectly ironed and your footwear polished. There is no room for shabby appearance in a corporate setting.
Keep in mind, the way you dress is just as important as the way you speak.