Imagine you have interviewed for three positions. Positions that you really liked. However, you didn’t land any of the jobs. You are stressed out as you are called for another interview. The stress of an interview doesn’t just face mid-level career professionals but also those who start out. It might be your first interview and you don’t know what to do. Here are some tips on how to prepare yourself ahead of the interview.
Research about the company
It is important to know more about the company ahead of the interview. Expect the question “So what do you know about us?” to be thrown your way. Go online and find out more by looking at its profile, product and services, organization structure if available, milestones, etc. Don’t stop there. Read news articles, online and in print, related to the company so you can find questions to ask during the interview. Ask those you trust in your network about the company and if it happens that you know someone working there, you can use them as your source for information. Remember, if you can’t show that you know the company, no one will hire you.
2. Familiarize yourself with common interview questions
For those who have gone through interviews, they can recall common questions that they were asked. However, you can also find online. Questions like “Tell me about yourself” or “Tell us when you showed leadership quality” should be easy for you to answer. Find ways of answering tricky questions like “What is your weaknesses” in a way that doesn’t show you are a liability. Practice answering these questions in front of a mirror or with a friend or someone you trust. Ask them to give you pointers on what you can improve on. A practice session goes a long way when it comes to acing your interview.
3. The big question “Why should we hire you?”
At the end of the day, the big question that you want to answer is this. You want to show your interviewer that you are the right candidate for this position and hiring you will be the best thing that will happen to them. Prepare a list of your achievements. It could be the sales target you had surpassed in your previous position. It could be the marketing campaign you championed that increased brand awareness. Or it could be the social media campaigns that increased followers on Instagram.
If it is about leadership, talk about how you grew and motivated your team. If it is about strategy, show how you formulated and implemented a certain strategy in your previous position. Declaring that you are good at something is different from showing that you are actually good at it with results. So when you are in employment, remember to keep a list of all your achievements. It is easy to forget amazing achievements from two years back.
4. Work on how you will present yourself.
Presentation matters. If someone tells you differently, they are wrong. Dressing inappropriately might cost you the job. Always ask yourself what is appropriate for the position you are interviewing for, and for the company in question. Someone who is interviewing for a mechanical engineering position might get away with being dressed in a long-sleeved shirt tucked in a pair of neat blue jeans with some safety boots, compared to someone interviewing for a corporate banker’s position. Don’t limit it to clothing. Remember your face, your hair, nails, etc. And remember, never go to an interview under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Carry all Relevant Documentation
Sometimes, you might be asked to bring certain documents like university certificates, bank slips, etc. Put everything in a folder that is easy to carry and hard to misplace. There are many people who go for interviews without the job description of the position that they are interviewing for. Some don’t even carry their own CVs. Don’t be one of those. Carry the position’s job description so you can answer the interview with ease. You will also be able to refer to the different areas of the job description in formulating your questions. Don’t wait for the interviewer to print out your CV. In fact, have more than one CV that you can distribute to the interviewing panel. This shows attention to detail and proactiveness.
There are many ways you can prepare for an interview. Read online and ask friends on tips that can help you. Others meditate or pray to stay focused and shake off the nerves. Find out what works for you and how you can use it to win the interview. Sleep properly the day before the interview so you can wake up refreshed and energetic. Remember to use your faith to support you during the interview.