Tips for preparing for a job interview
Updated: Aug 25, 2022
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A job interview is a formal meeting in which one or more persons question, consult, or evaluate another person: It is a very important process that one needs to take seriously as it is one of the surest ways to get entry into a particular job. However, it is an undertaking that many persons dread and often fail at making the right impression. On the other hand, there are some who turn up for a job interview ill-prepared to their own detriment. As a means of making that favourable first impression here a few tips that will ensure you ace your next interview.
Research about the organization and prepare to state how what they offer is in keeping with your overall goals and objectives. Prospective employers want to know that you took time out to learn about the operation of their company. It’s best to avoid swatting a bunch of responses you believe interviewers want to hear, but rather prepare responses that tell a consistent story about who you are while sharing concrete examples. While this seem miniscule to a prospective candidate, it is extremely important to know the location of the interview so as to plan your route ahead of time. You wouldn’t want to be late, therefore it is recommended that you arrive at least 10 minutes before the actual time of the interview.
Most interviews nowadays are behaviour based. Therefore, be prepared to provide responses to those types of questions. Behaviour-based interview questions are increasing in popularity because they are considered to be valid predictors of on-the-job performance. These questions usually begin with phrases such as:
Tell me about a time when you …
Describe a situation in which…
Recall an instance when…
Give me an example of…
You need to be prepared with specific examples that demonstrate your accomplishments and abilities. Other common questions tend to focus on:
Handling an upset customer or difficult co-worker
Working effectively under pressure
Solving problems and completing projects on time
Being able to commit to a one year contract
Try to remain relaxed and let your personality shine through. Remember the interview serves as a means of getting prospective employers to meet you in person. As a result make every effort to ensure your responses are conversational. Also, take along additional materials with you: extra resume, list of references, portfolio (transcripts, certificates etc.)
If your interviewer extends his or her hand in greeting, give a firm handshake (in some societies such as Japan, instead of shaking hands they bow). Make eye contact and smile. Be aware of your body language: sit erect, stand and walk with confidence, lean forward toward the interviewer. Be a good listener; answer what’s asked in a brief but effective manner. Never be afraid to ask for clarification if you aren’t sure about the question. Importantly, be warm and cheerful while displaying enthusiasm and interest.
In addition, dress to impress. A traditional, conservative style is usually your best bet. This may differ in some cultures. Get a haircut a few days before and be sure to shave. Prepare your outfit the night before: clean your shoes, iron anything that needs pressing, remove any pet hair etc. Ensure that your fingernails and hair are clean. Use deodorant, but avoid strong body sprays and perfumes. Don’t wear super high heels, flip-flops, or sneakers. Don’t wear anything low cut. Go easy on makeup and jewelry. Bring a breath mint with you to ensure you make a good first impression.
Sometimes an interviewer may allow you to ask questions. Should that be the case here are a few that you could ask:
Can you describe a typical day on the job?
What are the top priorities for this position in the next few months?
How soon do you expect to make a hiring decision?
In conclusion, because an interview is a formal meeting to evaluate a prospective candidate’s suitability for employment it is one that needs to be taken seriously as it is one of the surest ways to get entry into a particular job. As a result, it is very important to do research and be well prepared.