You're looking for a new job, you've followed our tips for shaping your CV and it's already more than impressive, your LinkedIn profile has also been updated and is attracting the attention of companies and recruiters. The phone is ringing - you've been invited for an interview. Congratulations! But the preparation work is just beginning.
The interview is one of the most important steps in the process of finding a new job, so the impression you make during it is also very important. Even the most highly qualified professionals need some preparation before an interview. In this article, we share 9 tips to help you be as prepared as possible for this step.
Before the interview
This may seem obvious to some of you, but it's really important that you've done your homework and familiarised yourself with the company before the interview. What are the company's vision, mission, and values? What have been their biggest achievements in recent years? What are they working on right now? In most cases, all of this information can be found easily and quickly on the company's website or social media. A more in-depth search might include news in the media or across a variety of job platforms. In addition to knowledge of the company itself, it's also important to be familiar with the nature of the position you're applying for and its role within the organization.
Spending time getting to know your possible future employer will firstly prove that you are prepared for the interview, and secondly, show your genuine interest in the company and your desire to become a part of it.
Take time to prepare the day before the interview. This will help you to be more confident on the day itself, and recruiters and HR managers can easily tell when a candidate is, or is not, prepared for an interview. What you can do to be more prepared:
On the day of the interview
On the day of the interview, especially if it is live, try to arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled time. Punctuality is very important, makes a great impression on the interviewers, and shows professionalism and seriousness. To make sure you are on time on the day itself, prepare your clothes from the night before, set an alarm, and 'map out' your itinerary for the day in advance.
If the interview is online, it doesn't automatically mean you shouldn't prepare. Again, prepare the clothes you will be wearing, and make sure the device you will be using is in working order and has a good internet connection.
What you choose to wear for your interview depends largely on the culture of the company you're applying for, as well as the position you're being interviewed for. Whether you choose a suit or something more sporty and elegant, your attire should be professional. Avoid bright colors and garish prints. Opt for a neutral-colored garment with a clean cut. If you don't know what to wear, don't hesitate to call the company contact person and ask. If you're still not sure exactly how to be dressed, opt for a more formal style to avoid being too "casual" during the interview.
Confidence has a big impact on how a person is perceived, including during an interview. Body language is one of the ways to show your confidence - an upright posture, eye contact, a firm handshake, or what is called "non-verbal communication" - these are some of the first things they will notice about you.
Speak clearly and distinctly and share about your experience so far with conviction, assertiveness, and belief in yourself. Be balanced and objective and don't confuse confidence with arrogance and hubris. Use professional, jargon-free language, be polite, and avoid topics of conversation that would be inappropriate, provocative, or offensive.
When you go to an interview, you are prepared to answer the questions you are asked. Of course, this is the case, but remember that this is also the time when you can learn more about the company and the position from the "source". And, if that's not enough to convince you, here's the time to share that employers often expect you to ask them questions because that's how they gauge your genuine interest in the company and the job you're applying for.
Another opportune time to not bother asking a question is when you have not accurately understood the question or the direction given by the interviewer.
There is a big difference between "hear" and "listen". It happens that when our interlocutor speaks, we "rehearse" in our minds what we will say in response. Although it may seem clever, by doing so we run the risk of not actually hearing what is being said and missing important information. Show your interlocutor that you are listening by using non-verbal stimuli such as nodding, and eye-to-eye contact, as well as verbal ones such as paraphrasing what they say or using the same expressions and phrases.
No matter how badly you want the job, don't present yourself in a different light just to get it. Be your authentic self. Show your individual energy and what makes you special, but at the same time, don't cross the line set by corporate norms between candidate and interviewer.
After the interview
Something that is not so common, but creates a strong impression, is the timely communication immediately after the interview. This could be a thank you email to the interviewer or a LinkedIn message. In it, you can express your gratitude for their time and remind them of your sincere interest in the position. It is good practice to send a follow-up message on the day of the interview or the next day.
These are some of the basic and most important tips and tactics to follow for a successful job interview performance. "Armed" with these, you are sure to make an exceptional first impression at your next interview. Apply now for your next job!