Being offered an interview, especially when you’re searching for a job, is one of the greatest feelings ever. It shows, in most cases, that you have one foot in the door. Companies do not usually invite unqualified people for job interviews. If you are asked to interview, it shows that your potential employers have looked at your CV and have come to the conclusion that your skills are adequate for the job. However, this doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed the role you applied for.
If you’ve gotten to the interview phase of your job application, you should be glad, but it is hardly the time to relax. Likely, other people who are competing for the job with you have also gotten to this phase. This means that the interview results determine who gets the job, and so, in this case, the last phase is the most important.
STEPS TO TAKE BEFORE AN INTERVIEW
So how does one go about preparing for an interview? What are the important steps to take while getting ready to go to that all-important oral examination?
The first thing you need to do is to prepare. Interviewing is a skill, and like any other skill, it needs lots of practice and preparation. So how do you prepare? What strategies can help you ace your interview?
RESEARCH. It is usually said that knowledge is power, which is just as true with interviews. Your ability to gather as much knowledge about the firm that is interviewing you might just be the X factor that would make you stand out.
- What do you know about the company’s culture?
- What do you know about their history?
- What are the values important to the company?
- How can you make those values align with your own work ethic?
Researching the company will not only help you stand out, but will also help you provide context when answering questions during the interview. It is possible that you might be asked a question that would ordinarily require a generic answer like yes or no, but it is important to be prepared for anything.
However, if you are well-versed with the company’s strategies and operations, you will be able to answer interview questions with relevant examples and impress your potential employers.
Understanding your potential role, responsibilities, and requirements in the company is also a very important part of the research process.
Being able to run through the basic daily activities of the position you are applying for will show your understanding and suitability for the role. It is also important, during the interview, to ask for clarifications on your potential role.
This would show your potential employers that you are already preparing for life as a member of the team and will give them a sense of what to expect if you are eventually employed.
SELF EXAMINATION. An important aspect of preparation that is often overlooked by job seekers seems to be themselves. You are the product you are selling, you are the service you are rendering, and you should make sure that your mind is in tip-top condition.
Ask yourself questions about the role you are applying for. Go over the job descriptions and look at how it aligns with your career goals. Exactly what excites you about this job? What new things can you bring to the table? Ask important questions that will help you learn more about the company as well as the particular position you are applying to. Understand your inadequacies and deal with them before the interview.
Don’t wait until you are seated in front of a panel to be slammed with questions. Examine the skills, knowledge, accomplishments, strengths, and weaknesses that you have right now and see how it measures up to the expectations of your potential employees. If your abilities measure up to expectations, It will be a confidence booster, and if it doesn’t, you can get started on strategies that showcase your most impressive parts and diminishes the least impressive aspects. Any way it goes, it is an absolute win because you can avoid being surprised by tough questions during the interview.
PREPARE YOUR ANSWERS.
By and large, some questions are sure to come up during most interview sessions. Questions like
“Why do you want to work here?”,
” Where do you see yourself in the next ten years?”,
“What are your greatest strengths?”
and so on, come up at almost all interviews.
The chances of interviewers asking some of these questions are very high. It makes sense to prepare your answers to these questions beforehand. Your answers to these sorts of questions mustn’t be generic or shallow.
For example, if you are asked why you want to work in that particular organization, you most likely would not get positive remarks for saying, “I’d like to work here because it is a nice place”. Your answers need to be intelligent, smart, and goal-oriented. This is because, in general, you do not get a lot of chances to sell yourself in an interview. It is hardly a traditional sales pitch meeting, so it makes sense for you to show your readiness and compatibility with the job at any chance you get.
For example, you would probably get a few positive remarks if your answer to the earlier question was something along the lines of “All my life, I’ve dreamed about working with a company that is truly making a difference through brave and innovative steps in today’s world”.
“Working in a company with a great work environment, doing incredible and important work, has been my goal throughout my career and this company checks all the important boxes for me”. This answer shows that you have put a lot of thought into thinking about your career and how this job helps you achieve your goals. It tells the interviewers that you are capable of thinking intelligently.
What are your greatest strengths?” and so on, come up at almost all interviews. The chances of interviewers asking some of these questions are very high. It makes sense to prepare your answers to these questions beforehand. Now, your answer to this sort of question mustn’t be just generic or shallow. For example, if you are asked why you want to work in that particular organization, you’d probably get no positive marks for saying, “I’d like to work here because it is a nice place”.
Your answers need to be Intelligent, smart and goal-oriented. This is because, in general, you don’t get a lot of chances to sell yourself in an interview. It is hardly a traditional sales pitch meeting, so it makes sense for you to show your readiness and compatibility with the job at any chance you get.
For example, you’d probably get a few positive marks if your answer to the earlier mentioned question was something along the lines of “All my life I’ve dreamed about working with a company that is truly making a difference with brave and innovative steps in today’s world.
Working in a company with a great work environment, doing incredible and important work, has been my goal throughout my career and this company ticks all the important boxes for me”. This answer shows that you’ve put a lot of thought into thinking about your career and how this job helps you achieve your goals. It tells your interviewers that you are capable of thinking intelligently.
DRESSING. This, obviously, is the last phase of preparation. But that does not make it any less important than the others. The first impression is really important when going in for an interview, and your dressing probably contributes immensely to the first impression that your interviewers have of you.
You have only one chance to get your dressing right, and to get it right, you must. Regardless of how good your interview is, it is unlikely that employers would employ someone inadequately dressed. This means that the way you dress is also a part of the interview, and it is one area in that you can easily score high marks. One important tip while dressing for an interview is to dress for the role you are applying for.
This is where research comes in. How do people in that work environment dress? Is the company culture conservative or liberal? Is flashy dressing tolerated or encouraged? It is important to note that when you have no idea of the dress code at the company, you should dress professionally.
Adequate preparation, in most cases, is the difference between a successful and unsuccessful interview. Your ability to prepare, successfully anticipate interview questions, and properly answer them will almost certainly guarantee a seamless process (or at least as seamless as interviews can get, generally). Following the basic guidelines listed in this article can very well get you that dream job and put you on the path to success.