After days of putting effort, creating a killer résumé, applying for promising jobs, you’ve finally got that much awaited interview call, great news!
Now’s the time to create your next best mark in the hiring process. The only way to do this is by preparing yourself well for the interview round.
These seven strategic steps will help bring your A-game to the table and impress your potential employers:
#Step1: Review your résumé and the job description
Customising your résumé and the covering letter as per the job description is a great start. Review your résumé version to reflect upon aforementioned skills and competencies that align with the said position.
Assess the job posting/description to anticipate the questions that may come your way and prime yourself to match your experience and strengths to the potential role.
#Step2: Research on the company you are interviewing for
Conduct in-depth research on the company to know your audience. There are multiple online/print sources you can explore - company website, social media handles, career websites highlighting employees’ comments, salary information, work culture, company brochures, product/customer feedback, financial information etc.
Network with past/existing employees of the organisation, they are often the best source of information on what it’s like to work for them. And, of course, Google to get the latest news and updates on the company. This data will not only give an idea of the firm you aim to work for, but also offer insights on queries you may want to pose the interviewer. This action demonstrates your earnestness for the job.
#Step3: Make a list of the probable interview questions
Compile an anticipated interview questions list and craft thoughtful answers to highlight your abilities and achievements, this provides you a definite edge over other candidates.
Other than position-specific questions, incorporate these FAQs in your list:
- Tell me something about yourself
- Why are you looking for a change?
- Why do you want this job?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What motivates you?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
- What would you bring to this position?
#Step4: Practice with mock interviews
Even if you’ve written down your responses, practice articulating naturally instead of memorising. Rehearse speaking in front of a mirror or record yourself. Do mock interviews with a friend/family member, it will give you more confidence and genuine feedback on your performance.
Eye-contact, hand gestures are as important as the content of your responses; dry-runs will give you a better understanding of the body language you are adopting. Evaluate and enhance these to display poise and self-assurance.
#Step5: Organise your documents
The hiring manager already has your résumé, however carry adequate physical copies in case there are more than one interviewer and they request for it. Organise an elegant folder comprising of documents the HR team has asked you to bring such as mark sheets, certificates, relieving letter, salary slip etc.
#Step6: Decide on your interview attire
Select a formal outfit for the interview, formals are the safest option and can never go wrong. The clothes you pick should be clean, wrinkle-free and a good fit. Overall, present a neat look with well-cut hair, manicured nails, shaved/trimmed beard instead of an unkempt appearance.
#Step7: Plan your commute to the interview
Confirm the interview venue address and the phone number of the interviewer/HR person to be contacted if you get lost or delayed. Familiarise yourself with the interview location map. Based on the distance and time taken from your residence, plan your commute and the mode of transport, to reach atleast 10 minutes prior to the scheduled interview time.
And, if you are early, focus on staying grounded and calm. Observe the staff, their behaviour towards each other and the workplace set-up including checking out the washrooms (believe me, I always ensured on this point!)
You are on the verge of entering a significant chapter of your life, put your best foot forward and sail through the interview!