10 Tips for Your Interview
1. Always do your research – about the company and the job
As the quote goes, “Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail”. One cannot plan without collecting information which fortunately has become easy to conduct research on a particular topic by surfing the internet via your gadgets.
Understand that you are indirectly competing with other applicants who want the job the same way you do or even more. Thus, if there is a way for you to stand out amongst the crowd – I am pretty sure you’ll take it.
Search all the requirements for the job you are applying for, as well as the company. This will show to the interviewer that you are very serious and interested in the job.
2. Prepare for common interview questions and anticipate the difficult ones
Nowadays, you can just search all standard interview questions for every position that exists. It will only take you a minute to type and the search engine will do the rest.
Be the kind of person who plans for everything; even when there is a slight chance that a question that you thought will never be asked still pops up. You can anticipate all those questions by searching in the internet. Usually, the difficult ones would be related to the job. As the saying goes, “Expect the unexpected.”
A person once said to me, “Practice makes PERMANENT”. Every professional tennis player practices hitting the same forehand thousands of time in order to get it perfect, making it permanently imprinted into their muscle memory so that when the time comes for them to hit a forehand under such a stressful environment – hitting a forehand becomes easy.
Same goes for a job interview, by learning about the company and practicing how to introduce yourself is important. You can ask a friend to practice with you and start with introducing yourself confidently. Gather all the interview questions and try to draft an answer for every single one, so that you are mentally prepared for it when it comes.
4. Double-check on everything
Having a checklist helps prepare for the interview. From your attire to your briefcase – having a checklist makes it easier for you, especially if you are the easily anxious type.
A day before interview, go through your checklist again so that no item is left out. You don’t want to go for an interview without your resume or your certificates.
SO ALWAYS DOUBLE-CHECK!
5. First impression lasts
Many people don’t understand this. You are being judged the moment you set foot in their office – the interview has started!
What you wear, the way you smile, the tone of your voice, making eye contact, your perfume – all of it is important. Your appearance will be judged first, so you might want to really pick the best SUITABLE attire you have to ace the first impression.
Once the interview starts, the interviewers will not just be listening to what you say. They will also start reading your body language. You might want to limit extreme movements when conveying your points to look calm and compose.
6. Fully utilise the ‘Tell me about yourself’
This probably is the most commonly asked question during any interview. So how should you respond? You can talk on and on about yourself – and that is okay.
OR you’d rather use this moment to highlight your value and skills which perfectly complement the position.
This is the golden opportunity to communicate with the interviewer; that you are the person they are searching for. Try to highlight your strengths which the job would require.
7. Understand the interviewers’ body language
Okay, body language is not a skill that can be mastered in a few days. Professionals take years to master this art. Even so, do not fret as you only need to read whether they are interested in your story or not. “How?” you may ask. There are many articles as well as videos available on this subject.
They will teach you on what to look out for that shows when someone is either interested or being upset with what you are saying. Once you notice that they might be bored with your points, try to tell them a good story relating to your point. You would want them to laugh with you, not at you.
8. CLOSE properly
Like any business engagement – you want to end the deal with the prospect potentially buying your product. Same goes with interviews. You want them to hire you after the interview.
If you get to the end of an interview and really like the job, then ask for it! Even better, you highlight again your strengths and share with them why you are the right person for the job; thus, also showcasing that you really want the job.
9. Keep Calm
Things might not go the way you plan. The interviewer may ask unexpected questions that you’re not ready for. You must remain calm, take your time to look for the best response and convey the answer politely.
There’s a quote, “We are never ready, we can only be ready enough.” For most people, the thought of interview makes them anxious, because of our own little voice. Well, the only way to tone down the volume of our little voice is by practicing – which in turn will give ourselves the confidence we need to ace the interview.
10. Send thank you notes
Write a simple thank-you note after every interview you go through. You can email a short message stating your gratitude for the opportunity to be interviewed. You can also customize your message by referring specifically to what you and the interviewer discussed.
Take note: the thank you note should be sent within two days after the interview.