How to prepare for a job interview?

Preparing for a job interview would require you to anticipate questions and answer them to the satisfaction of the interviewer. When you apply for a job, interviews are an inevitable part of the process which can be incredibly nerve-racking. We are often left with a dry mouth, sweaty palms, our hearts beating like a drum, and thoughts in a panic — you are not alone. An interview is a one-shot you get at securing a job or at the very least being offered a second-round interview, so it’s natural to feel nervous. Here are some tips on how to help ease some of those jitters and to perform the best you can at your interview.

The things to do before an interview

From the second you walk through that door you are being assessed, but don’t worry the next few tips are designed to help you on your way towards securing your dream job. First and foremost, be punctual. There is nothing worse than showing up late to your interview because it gives the impression that you are unreliable and don’t value the role that you have applied for.

Choosing the right attire for the interview is equally as important. The dress code for interviews is simple, always go with a clean and conservative look. This applies to any role within any industry — it makes you look presentable and someone that could represent the company. Always remember the name of your interviewer, the last thing you need is an awkward introduction prior to your interview. Getting the name of the interviewer wrong can indicate a lack of care for the role, so always have a pen and paper ready to take note of the names when you receive a call inviting you to an interview.

Everything seems OK in the waiting room until that moment of panic sets in when you see your interviewer walking towards you. This is an important moment to really make that first impression count. Be engaging by smiling, and thank your interviewer for the opportunity to interview for the job — this will set you up for a positive start. Making small-talk is a good way to build rapport with an interviewer and may help loosen some of those jitters you may be feeling on your way towards the interview room.

The types of questions that you are likely to hear at an interview

It’s important to be prepared to pass an interview. At an interview you will be asked several questions about previous work experience — so be one step ahead by remembering all your roles and how they complement the job that you are interviewing for. The more to expect is, tell us about yourself? What made you apply for this role? What can you offer the company? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What programs have you used? Tell us about your most recent role and why did you leave? You may even have an interviewer that gives you a couple of scenario questions to see how you would handle a situation. This may include an example such as, “How would you resolve a dispute with an irate customer whose product did not arrive on time?”. It’s always a good idea to remember similar experiences in your previous roles so that you can respond with confidence.

The way in which you interact with the interviewer is crucial in determining your chances of getting the role. So remember to always maintain eye contact, listen carefully and be engaging. It’s important to let your personality shine through so don’t feel like you have to be robotic. This helps the interviewer to ascertain whether you are a suitable fit for the company.

The interviewer will almost always have your resume right in front of them, which they go over with a fine-tooth comb, so any inconsistencies may prompt questions. For example, if you were at your previous role for only 6 months, the employer may ask your reason for leaving as it’s considered a short employment period. Avoid replies like “It wasn’t for me” or “I didn’t like the people I worked with” as it can reflect poorly on your interactive skills. Perhaps it was only a temporary role in which case you could reply with “I really enjoyed the role and developed extensive skills, but it was offered as a temporary position to fill in for an employee on leave”

Possible Interview Questions to be Asked

More often than not, towards the end of an interview, you are asked whether you have any questions about the role. It is crucial that you ask questions, but more importantly, the right type of questions. Avoid talking about salary at all costs unless the employer asks you first. Otherwise, it may suggest that you are more interested in a paycheck than anything else the company has to offer. The best type of questions to ask should revolve around the role you are interviewing for specifically. You could ask questions like whether it is a newly built role or what the company’s long-term vision for the role maybe? This demonstrates to the employer that you are serious about the job and have an eagerness to learn. Avoid asking too many questions about the company as this is something you should research prior to the interview. Often interviewers will ask you what you know about the company, so be prepared. At the end of each interview always thank the interviewer for inviting you.

Be courteous and give your references a heads up after an interview. You don’t want them to be caught off guard when they receive a call from the employer asking for a referral.