An interview is a crucial part of landing a job and is normally the part that makes most candidates worry. Unlike your resume, a conversation will not only show your professional achievements, but will also reveal your personal traits, erudition and self-presentation skills. The main goal of the job interview is successfully selling yourself.
First impressions matter, especially in the hiring process. You’ll need to practice to thoroughly prepare for the conversation and show your best. Although the interview requires preparation, it’s not as difficult as many think it is. Here are some useful tips that will help you nail the interview and get the job:
Research the company
Although getting familiar with a company you want to work in seems essential and obvious, many candidates still neglect this step. It will take 5 minutes of your time to read some general things about the company, their corporate culture, and the latest news to show your interest. Asking questions about the company will show the interviewer that you care and did your research, and will likely increase the chances of you getting the job.
Review your resume and CV
Make sure to go through information on your resume – it will act as a script for the conversation. Everything you tell the interviewer must match with what you’ve stated in your resume and cover letter.
Go through the most common interview questions
Even if you’ve never been to a job interview, you probably heard about some of the essential interview questions. Getting familiar with popular questions and thinking about how you should answer them is a good place to start. The most common interview questions include:
- Tell us a little bit about yourself
- Tell us about your previous job experience
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Why should we hire you?
- Why do you want to work here?
- How do you deal with challenges at work?
- Why did you quit your last job?
- What are your salary expectations?
Preparing to answer these question will present you as a confident candidate. Just answer honestly and don’t overthink your answers.
Define your weaknesses as well as your strengths
A very common mistake made by many candidates is talking only about your strengths without addressing weaknesses. Be honest with yourself, and write down a few things you have hard times with. When talking about your weaknesses, mention how you work on overcoming them or what you have done so far to address and work on building them up.
Never talk negatively about your previous jobs
Some people try to be overly honest when talking about prior employment. Try to avoid any negativity and criticism about your past managers, colleagues or boss. These statements will only provoke new questions to appear and make the interviewer question you and your experiences. When the interviewer asks why you want to change a job, you can say:
- I have reached a certain level of experience, and I am ready for new challenges
- You’re looking for another size of the company or another product/service
- Your company’s direction or specialization changed, so you’ve decided to join a new organization
Show an interest in the job
The job interview is not a proper time for doubts and overthinking. Even if you’ve suddenly realized that you may not want this position, don’t let it show. You will have time to digest the conversation and make conclusions with a fresh head after the interview takes place. While you’re at the interview, focus on presenting your best self.
Prepare your own questions
While some questions may arise during the interview process, it’s better to have a couple prepared in advance. Researching the company’s website can help you figure out what additional information you would like to know. Lining up some reasonable questions would prove your serious intentions and real interest in the position.
Dress the part
If it’s not a phone or Skype interview, your appearance is very important. Of course, these days fewer companies require a strict dress code and become more tolerant of casual style. However, dressing up for an interview can help frame the positive impression about you. Make sure your clothes are cleaned, ironed, and work-appropriate. Don’t forget to take care of the haircut, and check for fresh breath as well.
Arrive on time
The last thing you want to do is create a bad impression before even stepping in the interview room. Obviously, if your resume talks about your excellent time-management skills and responsibility, you cannot be late to the interview. Schedule the date in your calendar and plan your commute in advance to avoid such gimmicks.
After all, passing a job interview is not that difficult. Be motivated, confident, honest, and well-armed, and you’ll do great!