How to prepare for an interview
How to prepare for an interview
Thorough preparation is essential if you want to increase chances for an interview with a happy ending. The following article brings you an overview of what shouldn’t be omitted and what, on the other hand, should receive our full attention.
You know that feeling. You have sent your CV as a reaction to several job ads that looked appealing and now you are waiting what will happen next. Every time the phone rings, your stomach is in knots. Is it finally going to be some good news? Yes, it was that long awaited phone call and you have at last been invited to the interview. There is a week left until the meeting and you are asking yourself how to prepare in order to give out the best you can? The following tips address some of the most important issues that should be taken into account. If you are an expreinced interview-goer you might find these obvious, however as we all know “Repetition is the mother of all learning”.
Try preparing some answers to Most common interview questions. In order to break the ice at the beginning of an interview, candidates tend to be asked questions like “Please, tell me something about yourself” or “Could you walk me through your resume?”. It surely won’t do any harm if you had prepared answers before and thus earn some extra points for a favorable first impression without stammering. It doesn’t have to be too long. 3-5 minutes should suffice in order to convey some facts about yourself and your previous experience. You can begin with an introduction like the following: “I am a project manager with 5 years experience in project managment and international transport.” Then you can continue with a chronological description of how have you gotten to your current position. No carreer is ideal and if you find that there are some gaps in your CV or that you have been changing positions too frequently, prepare to be able to give a reasonable explanation.
Read the job requiremnets carefully and try to think how has your previous experience helped you acquire relevant skills. Are there any courses or certificates in your resume that could help you be the right candidate? You can even write down your answers and then read them aloud which will make them easier to rememer. Another possibility is to record yourself and then press replay several times until memorizing.
Do your homework
What do you know about the company? Study their web page carefully to find out about the history, services offered, location of branches and other relevant information. Read about their news and find out what their strategic plan is. Do you know what the employees say about their employer? There are plenty of applications and web sites that promote companies and where you can find lots of handy info. Have you heard of Glassdoor or Proudly? Finally, think what makes this company the place where you’d like to work as it belong to one of the usual questions asked at interviews.
Before the interview
So you’ve done you homework. How about clothes? Do you know what you’ll wear? It’s advisable to prepare your outfit beforehand. If you haven’t been to the hairdresser for ages, maybe now it is time to do so. Sometimes little things can make difference. Even though clothes don’t necessarily make the man, we are too often being judged based on our looks and first impression. Of course it also depends on the position you are applying for. If you know what the company’s dresscode is, if any, definitely try to adjust your selection in order to fit in.
Don’t leave anything to coincidence and plan your journey. How much time will it take? Add at least 15 minutes just to be sure. Being late will not help with your way up the career ladder. Make sure you have the contact number for the person who you can call in case of unforseen circumstances with you. Even if you change your mind and decide not to go, always let the other side know. Who knows whether you won’t be applying with the same company one day in the future.
During the interview
Sometimes we end up being so wound up by the interview process itself that we tend to think only about making the best impression on the employer. A lot of times we forget to think about ourselves and ignore important details that surround us during the interview. Try to spend a moment noticing what feelings you get from the company environment and people you meet. How do you feel about the interview itself and the person/people leading it? Don’t be afraid to ask them how they like working for the company. Interview is not about shooting answers like a machinegun. Stop and take some time when you need it in order to think. It is not uncommon that nervousness makes us talk fast. A calm and serene attitude will look much more professional than shaky hands, trembling voice and fast speech. Never try to make yourself look as someone who you are not. Be natural. Your authenticity will make better impression and pretending is not hard to detect. Especially for individuals who run interviews at every day basis.
Do you have any questions? The end of the interview is the best time to ask. It’s advisable to have prepared at least one or two things that interest you and that you haven’t come across during the meeting. This also adds an impression about your person. If you don’t want to ask anything, it may look as if you are not a curious person and easily settle with what is being served to you. Also, before you leave, make sure you know by when is the company planning to let you know how you’ve performed. It will make it easier for you to make a decision in case you can chose from more offers. If you have been waiting for an answer for too long, you can find out where you stand by calling in and referring to the date stated at the interview.
After the interview
Try to find a moment and write down the questions that you were asked as soon as possible after the interview. Rate your answers with scale 1-10 based on the impression you have from your performance. Find out whether there is space for improvement and how to possibly do so next time.
Have you been waiting for too long and still haven’t received any feedback? Call the company, referring to the date stated at the interview, and find out where you stand.
If you haven’t been chosen or havn’t proceeded to the next round, perceive the experience as an enriching one and try to take the most out of it. If you have, than congratulations and we wish you good luck in the second round or your new JOB!