When you finally come across an opening for your dream job you immediately polish up your CV, submit it, and hope for a call. Yet when you receive the call, you realize you have another hurdle standing between you and your future career. The job interview. A CV may peak an HR professional’s interest, but the job interview is the deciding factor in whether you go from candidate to employee.
Job interviews are meetings between prospective new hires and the potential employer. It gives both parties the opportunity to interact and learn more about each other. Interviews are a conversation with a purpose. You need to persuade the employer that you have the skills, experience, and ability to perform the job successfully. But be careful because employers are also evaluating your personality, interpersonal skills, communication abilities, enthusiasm, and confidence. To give yourself an edge and increase your chances of landing the job, it’s imperative to prepare for a job interview.
Research the Organisation – The best way to build rapport with your interviewers is to know about the organisation so that you can converse effectively and intelligently, while also reflecting your enthusiasm. It will allow you to tailor your answers to interview questions, determine which points to emphasize, and prepare a list of applicable qualifications to sell yourself. When interviewing for a job it’s not necessary to describe every detail of your professional experience. Instead, focus your answers and descriptions to reflect what is important for this particular job. A popular question is “How would you contribute to the success of the company?” Knowing the details of a company and the specifics of the position, will allow you to provide a stellar answer.
Be Prepared for Common Questions – Most employers ask questions such as “Tell us about yourself,” “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” and “Why are you the best person for this job?” It’s crucial to provide answers that are relevant to the specific job. Rely on your research. Develop a list of potential questions and write out thoughtful answers to each. Practice answering them in the mirror or with friends and family. You want to sound natural, yet prepared. However, don’t overdo it. You don’t want to go into an interview highly stressed. Relax and prepare to the best of your abilities.
Dress for Success – A job interview is not the time to wear those funky new shoes. Informal clothing gives the impression that you’re not serious. Wear something conservative and professional even if the office appears to favor business casual. Looking polished and professional will give a great first impression.
Ask Intelligent Questions – At the end of the interview if the interviewer asks if you have questions, it’s important to have some prepared so that you don’t appear disinterested. Again, rely on your research and ask relevant questions that show that you are knowledgeable about the company. Don’t ask about salary or holidays just yet. Prepare a long list of questions in case some are answered during the interview process. Focus on subjects such as the projected growth of the company, more specific details of the position, or how upper management views the position and department.
Preparation is key for job interviews. By illustrating that you know about the company, can answer questions about yourself eloquently, and have the ability to ask intelligent questions, you will be a step ahead of your competition. If you are not offered a position following the interview, figure out why and learn from your mistakes. This will help you prepare even more effectively for future job interview.