If you can narrate a reasonably good story to your family at the dinner table or share a good joke at your friend’s party, then you certainly have what it takes to ace your job interview. A job interview is in fact an opportunity to narrate one’s own personal life story. It’s well known that the nerves and the intensity of an interview situation can sometimes make a person perform less than one’s actual potential. Nevertheless, being proactive and adequately preparing before the interview day can significantly improve your performance and the outcome of your interview. Here are some suggestions to transform your next job interview into the harbinger of your dream job.
Before the interview:
- Know your potential employer:
Briefly explore available facts about the organisation, its structure, goals and achievements. This would help you to have a better understanding of your potential employer and their requirements.
- Know your position description:
Read the position description and analyse how your skills can best fit into the requirements of the position. Be sure to highlight your strengths in your CV that may add value to the organisation.
- Know the key questions every employer would put forward.
An interview is similar to a first encounter between two strangers. So almost all employers would ask most of the following questions:
- Tell me about yourself?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What are your future goals/ targets?
- How do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
- Tell me about a stressful / difficult situation you encountered in your previous job, and how did you resolve it?
- Why are you looking for a new position?
- Why would you like to work with us?
So, now that you know some of the key questions that await you in an interview, be well prepared with succinct answers for them.
- Prepare copies of important documents:
Make copies of your resume/CV and other important documents (cover letter, list of references, etc.) in advance.
Day of the interview:
When you are called for an interview you’re already on the employer’s shortlist, so they are already impressed with your CV. Having already done your homework for the interview, get ready to wow your employer.
- Dress for success
- As a general rule, it’s best to wearformal clothes. Neutral colors such as black, gray, brown and blue are suitable for both men and women.
- Be punctual and arrive early
- Greet the interviewer by first name and shake hands with confidence (firm handshake!)
- Body language is key.
- Speak slowly but sound confident and clear.
- Impress the interviewer early in the interview with calm composed answers to personal questions you are already well prepared for.
- The most effective job interviews are those which involve an active two-way conversation. So, be sure to actively participate in the interview. However, never interrupt your interviewer. Try and highlight your strengths that match the position description.
- Never bad mouth previous positions and employers as it may imply a pessimistic attitude.
- Do not talk about renumeration prematurely.
- At the end of the interview express your interest in the position and keenness to know the next step.
- Send a thank you note/ email following the interview.