It is that period of your life when you need to be at the mercy of a job interviewer for the first time, the umpteenth time, or you just know deep down that it is time to move a step further in your career path.
Let’s face it, to land the job of your dreams, you have to go through a series of job interviews. There is no escaping that.
With job interviews, you can either walk out with a massive smile on your face, knowing that you will definitely be called back, or you walk out feeling like the world’s biggest idiot while thinking of how fast you can find somewhere to go bury your head in the sand.
You knew all the answers, but each time you opened your mouth, they came out all wrong and did not make sense. Not to mention the job interviewer you feel does not like you and is not even giving you a chance.
Today, we are going to be discussing job interview tips for acing a professional interview process to land your dream job.
Helpful and insightful tips on what to do before, during and after a job interview.
Let us get straight to it.
How to Prepare for an Interview
As soon as you are sure you have a job interview, you need to know everything there is to know about hiring company you will be interviewed for.
Go to the company’s website, blog or social media pages and read up on its history, culture, mission, values, staff and recent successes.
That way, even if you are not asked anything directly about the company, you can always show further interest in the position by your knowledge of the company.
For further research, look into company reviews from current and previous employees on employer review sites like Glassdoor, Great Place to Work, or Kununu.
Do not wholeheartedly rely on these reviews as facts but use them as a guide for internal details of the company. Features like its salary reports, employee treatment, and in some cases, interview question hints.
Interview Questions Prep.
Now, this is the part where you actually have to study. But do not worry, the internet is full of easy to read articles on common job interview questions as well as correct ways to answer them.
Understand the differences among basic interview questions such as ‘Tell me about yourself’, behavioural interview questions like ‘What is your greatest failure and what did you learn from it?’ and career development questions that could include being asked ‘What kind of goals would you have in mind if you got this job?? And of course, out of place brainteaser questions like ‘Why are manhole covers round?’. Seriously, what does that have to do with the job you are applying for? You can never be too prepared for a job interview.
Rehearse, Rehearse and Rehearse.
With all the information you have gathered on the company in addition to questions asked at job interviews, put them together and rehearse on how you would answer them if asked.
Do not create scenarios in your head, instead, look in the mirror and speak out to yourself or someone willing to give you pointers on what you are doing wrong.
This helps you to be assertive of your answers, and when you finally have to answer questions thrown at you, they come out with conviction and fluency.
Also, practice enhancing and toning your voice and laying emphasis on the right words. Consider this your personal interview coaching session.
Go through your closet and pick out your interview attire ahead of time.
Go for clean, neat clothes that can be well ironed to avoid looking frumpy.
Remember that your interview outfits must be professionally appropriate to the position you are applying for. Try not to be overdressed or underdressed and avoid loud or flashy colours.
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Reconfirm all documents you need to bring along with your resume.
Go through your resume thoroughly to make sure that it is up to date and there are no tiny mistakes. Also, make sure that you go with more than one copy of your resume.
Do not wait until the last minute, to do all this.
How to Answer Interview Questions
These are things to do when you are with the job interviewer.
Be punctual and be genuinely polite to everyone. Get there at least 30 minutes ahead of time. This also helps you get accustomed to your new surrounding and puts you more at ease. You also have time to put yourself together and brush up on your answers while you wait.
Be polite and leave a good impression on everyone you meet before the interview.
Apart from keeping you alive, breathing calms your nerves. Being calm enables you to think clearly, this accelerates the understanding process of your job interview questions. Question clarity allows for well-thought answers that can also make your weakness interview question response seem like an asset. So, just breathe.
Always maintain eye contact with the interviewer and try to establish an excellent professional rapport.
Find common interests, professional or personal with the interviewer. It helps both of you to have a smooth interview process.
Stay positive and project good body language. Emphasize on your ‘selling points’ and the reasons you want the job and always stay on track when answering questions.
Do not forget that in as much as you want the job, you can not appear to be too desperate.
At the right opportunity, ask the job interviewer questions. Do not cut off the interviewer while being spoken to and let your questions be very thoughtful and show that you have been very attentive. You must always remember that interview questions and answers are actually a two-way thing.
Post Job Interview
Within 24 hours after the interview, send a follow-up email. Thank the interviewer for their time (you might have to write more than one email if you had multiple interviewers), express gratitude and your profound interest in the position. Mention things previously discussed during the interview and how your skills and experience can add value to the company
Confirm when a decision will be made and leave an open communication line to provide further information if needed.
Wait, and do not flood the job interviewer’s inbox with too many emails.