January 17, 2022

10 Simple Tips On How To Ensure You're Properly Prepared For An Interview

After all the hard work of writing up your resume to sending in applications, you’ve finally secured yourself an interview for your dream job. We know that you’re thrilled about that job interview, but wait, that’s not yet the end of your struggles!

Having an interview means having the chance to present yourself as perfectly as possible, to impress your interviewers. And you’re here reading this because you want to be well-prepared for the upcoming meeting. Well, you've come to the right place!

These days, interviews come in many forms ranging from phone calls, face-to-face meet-ups, video or online interviews, and more. However, regardless of the types available, the things you need to prepare don’t change. 

Preparing For An Interview

1) Examine the job description

Every hiring post comes with a job description. And this job description posted by the employers can help serve as a guideline to prepare for your interview. Why? Because it’ll list out the qualities, background, skills, and qualifications the employer is looking for when hiring candidates.

The questions asked by the interviewer will usually be related to the job description, and the more boxes you tick concerning the description, the more ideal you are as a suitable candidate. 

2) Research the industry and company

As an employer, it’s normal to assume that the candidates who have applied for the position would have taken the time to know more about the company. Thus, your interviewer will most likely try to find out how much you know about the company.

Some of the things they could ask would be who the competitors are, what’s the nature of the industry, as well as what’s the best way for them to move forward are among some of the questions. This is why researching the industry and the company you’ve applied to is important. 

3) Understand your selling points and the reason you want this job

Going to an interview can sometimes feel like pitching a sale on yourself to your potential employers. So, it’s always good to have at least five key selling points up your sleeves to show that you’re a high calibre candidate. For starters, you can prepare a few scenarios to demonstrate the soft and hard skills that you possess. 

As interviewers find candidates who show a keen interest in the hiring position to be more attractive, you should definitely come prepared with a well-rehearsed answer about why you want that job. The answers you’re preparing should address your interests in the job, how you hope to grow with the company, and the skills you have that make you a good fit. 

4) Anticipate the interviewer’s concerns and reservations

Most employers hire an individual through the elimination process. Since there will always be more candidates in comparison to the availability of job openings, interviewers are constantly looking for candidates’ flaws to screen them out.

So, why not try to put yourself in their shoes and ask why they might not hire you? Through that, you’ll get to identify what weaknesses you have that might get you eliminated, and be well-prepared to smoothly (but politely!) counter any possible questioning.

5) Prepare for common interview questions

Most of the time, candidates tend to focus too much on interview questions related to the job and the company. They then forget to be prepared for some common questions, which makes them at a loss for words because they’re caught off-guard.

While it’s hard for you to predict every question that the interviewer could possibly ask, there are always a few that have never failed to be asked during an interview. These common questions include:

  • Can you tell me more about yourself?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why did you leave your previous company?
  • What is your expected salary, and why do you think you deserve that amount?
  • Why do you want to work for this company?

The questions mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of other common questions that an employer will ask the interviewee, and you should definitely plan carefully thought-out answers for them so that you don’t accidentally trip on your words during the interview! 

6) Line up several thoughtful questions for the interviewer

More often than not, having no question to ask during your interview process when you’re given the chance to do so may reflect on your lack of interest in the job or the company, even if you don’t mean it that way.

This is why it’ll be best to prepare some great questions to ask your interviewers. Having some on hand to ask will show your interviewers that you’re not taking the session (and their time!) lightly.   

7) Prepare an elevator pitch to sell yourself in 5 minutes

Did you know that most interviewers already make up their minds about the candidate in front of them after just 5 minutes into the interview? They just spend the rest of the interview looking for details to confirm their decision.

This means that the first few things you’re going to express about yourself will be very important. So, better make the most out of the “Tell me about yourself” question when you’re given the opportunity to.

8) Ready your resume and past work to support your claims

It’s essential to have a few hard copies of your resume and portfolio to support your statements when you’re attending an interview. While reading through your resume, ensure there are zero grammatical and/or spelling mistakes.

It’ll be wise to rehearse the explanations about your past experiences and how the skills you’ve picked up can contribute to the hiring company. This way, you can reassure your future employers that you’re not only listing out skills on your resume based on their job descriptions.

9) Be prepared for behavioural interview questions

Behavioural interview questions seem to be the trend among most interviewers these days. They would ask the candidate to describe any past experiences they’ve had that would be a good indicator of their behaviours.

You might be asked to describe any unpleasant experience you’ve had with your ex-bosses, a time when you’ve had to make an unpopular decision, or even how you’ll handle pressure and make choices with limited information. 

10) Send a thank-you email

It’s always a good practice to show your appreciation after an interview. So, write a thank-you email after every meet-up, and customise your content to note the things you’ve talked about or discussed during the interview. 

Don't Forget To Make A Good Impression

There are many ways for a candidate to leave a strong impression on the interviewers. However, below are a few of the usual things interviewers look out for when interviewing the candidate.

1) Punctuality

Arriving late to an interview is never an option, as it’ll leave a bad first impression on your potential employers. So, make sure to always arrive at least 20 minutes early before the session starts. 

2) Body language

Most interviewers appreciate a firm handshake before and after the session. You’ll also give a strong first impression if you’re sitting straight without slouching/leaning on your chair or the desk. And make sure to come across as attentive to what your interviewers have to say, by maintaining eye contact. 

3) Enthusiasm

Once you’ve arrived at the interview, remember to always be polite and professional to any of the staff you meet before and after the interview. During the interview, you should answer all questions with a positive statement to show your enthusiasm for the job. Most importantly? Try not to tense up too much before an interview, as it may cause you to come across as cold and aloof, or extremely nervous. 

4) Clarity

Answering all the questions in a clear and concise manner not only shows your interviewers that you’re confident, but it also shows that you have excellent communication skills. If you’re faced with a tricky question, don’t hit that panic button! It’s perfectly alright for you to pause and think before proceeding with the answer; it shows that you don’t jump headfirst into any situation without careful consideration.

Best Foot Forward!

A good resume or CV can only help secure you a ticket for a job interview. What’s important is the impression you portray by the way you perform during an interview that will set you apart from the rest of the candidates, and land you the job you’ve always dreamed of.

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