30 Tips To Prepare For Your Next Job Interview
Posted at 06 Mar in Skills
Preparing for a job interview takes a lot more than looking up for top interview questions on Google! Apart from your knowledge about the company and its products and services, your first impression carries a lot of weight, and it goes on to convey if you are suitable for the said job. This article is an attempt to compile a list of pre-interview tips for you so that you can give your best shot!
How to Dress, Groom and Organise for Your Job Interview
- Always plan in advance what to wear for the interview. If you are going for an interview to a company which has a business or casual dress code, you should also go for a conservative and basic look for your first interview. If you are lucky enough to have a friend or an acquaintance in the same company, check with him or her as to what you should wear. If you do not have that luxury, just try to keep it simple and sober.
- If you plan to wear a suit, ensure that your suite is well ironed and cleaned and also has a good fit.
- Small things do matter during interviews. So ensure that you remember to check for loose hems, polish your shoes well, and go with trimmed and manicured fingernails. You must be thinking does anyone bother to look out for these minute details, let me tell you “yes” they very much notice.
- If you look your best, it gives a boost to your confidence too. So, it is a good idea to pamper yourself with a clean shave, haircut, facial, or even a new outfit for the interview. When you feel confident, it can work wonders and may be the key to landing your dream job too!
- It is always recommended that you carry at least additional copies of your resume. You should always have your resume ready when asked for it at multiple checkpoints during the interview process.
- Prepare and carry a reference list with you irrespective if you have been asked for it or not. Your reference list must have the individual’s name, title, department, organisation, email address, phone number, and a one liner which explains briefly your relationship with the individual from a professional perspective.
- Prepare your interview kit a day before. It can be a folder or a zipped file which can hold essential items such as extra copies of resumes, certificates, a notepad, ruler, pen or pencil, etc.
- Always ensure that you clean your bag before your interview. It does not give a good impression if you are digging past candy wrappers, old receipts, and phone chargers while looking for your resume. It makes you look messy and disorganised.
Do Your Research Before the Job Interview
- Always do some research regarding the company where you are headed for your interview. Check with your friends, read on the internet, look for recent press releases, social media page of the company, etc. and retain the information.
- Also, look out for blogs written by individual employees and get a sense of the type of people who work there or the work culture that prevails in the company. Glassdoor is great for this.
- Other than Facebook, Twitter can also be a very good source of information to find out what is the latest buzz around the company or its products and services.
- If you have the personal experience of using any of the company’s products or services, it can be an added advantage for you. You can give your valuable inputs from an end user’s perspective and indicate how you intend to be a part of the organisation and work collaboratively to add value to the product or the service.
- Read up a lot of reviews about the company. It will reveal some common theme which you can use to answer insightful questions.
- If you are fortunate enough to get a list of the people who will be interviewing with, you must ensure that you check their reputation and background to get a sense of what kind of behaviour turns them off or intrigues them.
- It is a good idea to get a sense from the HR regarding the format of the interview in advance so that you can prepare accordingly. Different organisations use different interview formats so if you are familiar with the format of the company where you are lined up for the interview; it can make a huge difference.
Anticipate and Prepare for Tricky Questions
- It is a good idea to prepare for some much-anticipated questions around your accomplishments, interview answers, and skills so that your answers resonate well with the interviewers. So corroborate your responses with a lot of examples from your current and past experiences.
- Even though the question which asks you to describe yourself may seem to be simple, you must ensure that you nail this first part of the interview so that it sets the tone for the rest of your interview.
- If you are asked about your weaknesses, you need to answer it tactfully. For instance, if public speaking is not your greatest strength, you can support it by giving examples such as how you volunteered to herald meetings or took up leadership roles so that you could be comfortable addressing in public.
- Even though you may find a list of common interview questions with answers on the internet, do not prepare them by rote, so that you do not sound as if you are answering from a script.
- It is a good idea to go prepared with some figures such as percentages and numbers which you can use while referring to your accomplishments or responsibilities.
- There is a high probability that may be asked as to why you are interested in this particular position or why are you interested in this company? So, it is a good idea to go prepared with a well thought of response which makes you sound so much more believable.
- It is a great idea to look into the mirror and practice answering certainly probable questions so that you are relatively comfortable during the interview.
- Practice as many mock interviews as you can with a friend or family member. It will bring about fluidity and confidence in you while facing the actual interview.
- When you are at towards the end of your interview, you are likely to be asked if you have any questions for your interviewers. So, you must prepare a couple of smart and thoughtful questions in advance. This shows that you have done your homework well about the company and the position that you are being interviewed for.
Some Additional Tips
- It is a good idea to go over in your head your career chronology till date so that you do not miss you any important detail.
- If you are lined up for a technical idea, it is a good idea to prepare well in advance by referring sample questions and practice as much as you can.
- If you need time to think through before answering a particular question, think of strategies which you can use instead of a huge pin drop silence in between. Think of good filler or you can repeat the question before answering it or speak slowly so that it gives you the time to think.
- Revise and brush up your knowledge on the correct body language to display during interviews.
- Maintain a notebook wherein you compile and jot down these tips and tricks which you can revise and re-use before any future interview.
- Last but not the least, try and get some sound sleep the previous night. It is not at all a trivial tip because if you are sleep deprived, you can be thrown off the game even before you realise it!