By: Florence Mayo
Have you ever wondered what you need to do before a job interview? If the answer is yes, then you’ve already taken your first step by reading this.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is going directly to an interview without any preparation. I cannot blame you for that. There might be many reasons for this. Maybe it’s because you didn’t have time to prepare, or that you simply didn’t know what to prepare.
Let me start by asking you a simple question: what is the purpose of the interview? This is the very first question you need to ask yourself—a very important one at that, as it opens up your mind, enabling you to see what the outcomes you want to get out of it personally and professionally.
Do your research
An important thing you must do before going to the interview is to research about the company: its vision, its background, its values, its history, and other important details. This will make you aware of things that could be of importance during the interview. It could also contribute to how confident you will be as well because you never know what questions you will be asked. So, you always have to be a ready for any question.
You must be at the place of the interview at least five minutes before the starting time. There are implications if you arrive too early or arrive late. If you arrive too early, let’s say 30 minutes before the required time, then I would advise you to stay in an area where you will not have to interact with the person recruiting you. This is because the first impression always counts, and you do not want to stress or rush your recruiter. So basically, you want to arrive at the place between 5-10 minutes before time.
Accept the drink they offer at the start
In some countries like Sweden for example, the moment you meet the recruiter, he/she will offer you a cup of coffee or tea. Some people say NO, but what you need to say is, thank you and accept it. If it happens that you do not like either of these, then you should ask for a glass of water instead. You need to be social and take advantage of the opportunity to interact. It shows that you are making an effort in trying to engage in conversation the recruiter is trying to initiate.
The drink they offer has a purpose of creating a better environment for you to feel comfortable before the actual interview starts. Another thing you need to be aware of is through this initial talk, it is easier for the recruiter to tell if you are a social person or not, so try to be cooperative, since that is one of the things that the employers are looking for.
In addition to that, be confident and believe in yourself. You have to believe that everything is under control and it will go fine. If you worry too much, then it is highly possible that you will have poor communication during the interview. A first impression always matters, so you have to appear smart and with the look on your face that you are there for the job and you will get it.
Give good answers
Now, let us go through couple of question that you will mostly be asked during the interview. I believe that at the end of your reading, you will learn better ways to respond when you are asked these questions, so I recommend you tighten your seat belt.
It always starts with the question, “Tell me about yourself.” This is a golden opportunity that you need to utilize effectively. You must be yourself, do not pretend to be someone else. The good thing about being yourself is that you are free to express what you are really passionate about, and engaging with the topics that show your personality. You can talk about what kind of work you have been doing in the previous weeks, months, or year. Tell them what you liked about it, what your achievements were, and at some point you have to talk about why the company should hire you.
If I ask you this, “Why should we hire you?” Think for few seconds then give me your reply. You need to see every question as a way of mentioning something nice about yourself, something about you that is worthy to hear. What are your unique selling propositions (USP)? This will show your level of insight and what is relevant to the recruiter.
The recruiter may ask you to talk about your good qualities; he/she could rephrase the question like this, “What are your strengths?” Do not afraid of bragging or saying something nice about yourself, this question has a connection to the previous one. Remember, you have to be yourself and make sure that you are not overdoing it. Make sure you give examples that could match up with the qualities you are mentioning.
But what if you are asked about your weaknesses? The question could be, “What are your areas of improvement?” Attention! Do not ever say that you do not have any weaknesses. Let me tell you something my friend, it is worse to say that you have none. But do not expose yourself with every single weakness you have either. Try to be selective and mention those areas that you can improve on and become even better. This shows that you are aware of who you are, your personality and you have taken key actions to deal with these weaknesses.
Let’s take a look at this one, “Tell me about a mistake you’ve made at work.” The way you could approach this question is to see how you can use it as an opportunity to say more good things about yourself. Mention a situation where you were wrong. And say that you were able to figure out a better way of doing things, and that you actually took some actions to resolve it. We all have something to say, so again, take it as a chance to prove that you can work on your weaknesses.
Sometimes the interviewer may pause and be quiet for a couple of minutes. You might become curious and wonder why. In that situation, what would you do? After letting the silence persist for some time, you may interrupt by asking something related to the silence. Make sure to be nice when you ask. The point of this silence is to test you if you can be patient enough for a couple of minutes. Some people would start talking a second after the awkward silence has started since they cannot tolerate that kind of situation. But remember, if you rush the process and start talking, it does not give you plus points, but rather makes you appear impatient.
Last but not least, the part when the recruiter asks if you have any questions for them. I repeat this statement again: you need to read about the company and the job that you are applying. So, you should ask a question related to the company or the job. A minimum of three questions should be good. This shows how actually you are interested to work at the company and the job you are applying.
Now that we have covered list of important details for you to prepare before the interview, how do you feel? Are you excited to ace that job interview? Drop us a question and we would love to help you out!